May 24

FAQ Related to The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005


1) Who is aggrieved person under the said DV Act?

S.2 (a) of the Act defines aggrieved person means any women who is or has been on a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to domestic violence by the respondent.

2)Are Minors/minor male entitled for reliefs under this Act?

Yes, as the term”child”is defined under the law, minors will also be within the ambit of the definition of domestic relationship. Section 2(b)DV Act defines Child.

The mother can make an application on behalf of her minor child(whether male or female).In cases where the mother makes an application to the court for herself ,the children can also be added as co-applicants for a relief under the DV Act. The Court can also, whenever appropriate, appoint a guardian or next friend to represent the child.

3)The female who is in” live-in relationship” or “ relationships in the nature of marriage “is entitled for relief under the Said Act?

Yes,Sec 2(f)of the DV Act defines the expression” Domestic Relationship”.relatiosnships in the nature of marriage includes those relationships where there is no marriage between the parties ,in the sense of solemnization of a marriage under any law. Yet the parties represent to the world that they are a couple and there is stability and continuity in the relationhips.such relationships also known as “live-in relationship”

Different court judgments have discussed on different disputes pertaining to live-in relationships. Live-in relationships are now considered at par with marriage under a new Indian law pertaining to domestic violence. The provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 are now extended to those who are in live-in relationships as well. The amendments intend to protect the victims of domestic abuse in live-in relationships. Section 2 (g) of the aforementioned Act provides that
a relationship between two individuals who live together or have lived together in the past is considered as a domestic relationship. A woman who is in a live-in relationship can seek legal relief against her partner in case of abuse and harassment.

4)What are the features of the live-in relationships?

In Velusamy v/s Patchaiammal (2010) The Supreme Court stated that a ‘relationship in the nature of marriage’ is akin to a common law marriage. For the purposes of claiming benefits under the domestic violence law, the claimant must satisfy four requirements i.e. (a) the couple must hold themselves out to society as being akin to spouses; (b) they must be of legal age to marry; (c) they must be otherwise qualified to enter into a legal marriage, including being unmarried and (d) they must have voluntarily cohabited and held themselves out to the world as being akin to spouses for a significant period of time.

5)Does the use of term domestic relationship bring “relationships in the nature of marriage “ at par with marriages?

The law simply provides protection from violence to all women whether they are sisters, mothers, wives or partners living together in a shared household. The law however, does not state anywhere that an invalid marriage is valid. It provides protection from violence ,the right to reside in the shared household ,temporary custody of children ,etc.However ,for succession to the property of a male partner or in deciding the legitimacy of children ,the general law of the land or the personal laws of parties will have to be relied upon.

6) Against whom the complaint can file?

A women can file a complaint against any adult male perpetrator (S.2 (q))of an act of violence. In cases where the woman is married, or lives in a relationship that is in the nature of marriage, she can also file a complaint against the male or female relatives of the husband /male partner who have committed the violence.

7) Who fall within the meaning of” relatives” under Section 2(q)?

The word “relative “has not been defined in the DV Act. Hence the ordinary meaning will have to be assigned.i.e.father,mother,sister,uncle,brother of the respondent who may included in the word “relative”in section 2(q).It also include female relatives.

8 ) Can a complaint filed against husbands’ female relatives?

Yes, orders can be passed against the female relatives of the husband except the relief of dispossession against the female relative under sec.19(1) of the Act.

9) Can mother in law file an application for reliefs against the daughter-in- law?

No,a mother –in –law cannot file an application against her daughter-in –law(Section 2(q))However in cases where a mother-in-law is facing violence at the hands of her son and daughter-in –law as abetting the acts of violence committed by the son.

10)How long does an interim order remain in force for?

Interim orders shall remain in force till such time either of the parties applies for its alteration, modification or revocation. In order to get such an order ,a change in circumstances has to be shown(section 25(2)).Interim orders are also vacated on the granting of the final order by the Court.

11) Will a divorced wife have a right to claim relief under this DV Act from her Ex-husband?

The answer to this question depends on the facts of the case. In cases where, at the time of divorce, she has in express terms waived such a right, she cannot claim it in the future.

12)Can there be any appeals from an interim orders?

Section 29 of the DV Act allows appeals to session courts from any orders passed by magistrate. No appeal should lie from an order which have not affected the rights of the parties or is procedural.

13) Only married men are in danger?
No. Domestic Violence Bill extends to live-in relationships too.

Note:This information is based on the current understanding of the law & decided cases .If you are facing any problems you are suggested to seek legal help.

Adv. Sheetal Raghuvanshi


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