Basic Provisions of Domestic Violence Act, 2005

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 contains five chapters and thirty seven sections. This article highlights some of the important provisions which are essential for the nuance understanding of the statute. The basic provisions are simplified here so that a layman faces no difficulties when it comes to grasping the concept of the act.

Definitions in the Domestic Violence Act, 2005

(a) Domestic Violence

The term ‘domestic violence’ has been used in widest sense which covers all forms of physical , sexual, verbal, emotional and economic abuse that can harm, cause injury to, endanger the health safety, life , limb or well-being either mental or physical of the aggrieved person.

(b) ‘Aggrieved person’

The span of the term ‘aggrieved person’ covers not just a wife but a woman who is the sexual partner of the male irrespective of whether she is legal wife or not  (includes live-in relationships as well)
The daughter, mother, sister, child (male or female), widowed relative, in fact, any woman residing in the household who is related in some way with the respondent is covered by the act.

(c)’ Respondent’

The term ‘respondent’ implies “any male, adult person who is, or has been, in a doestic relationship with the aggrieved person”.
This ensures that the respondent’s mother, sister and other relatives do not go scott free, the case can also be filed against relatives of the husband or the male partner.

Basic Features of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005

1. Apart from the victim herself, the complaint regarding an act or act of domestic violence can also be lodged by ‘any person who has a reason to believe that’ such an act was committed or is being committed. This means that neighbors, social workers, relatives can also take initiative. And the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act make sure that ‘no criminal, civil or any other liability’ lies on the informer, if the complaint is lodged in good faith.

2. The magistrate has been given powers to permit the aggrieved women to stay in her place of adobe and she can not be evicted by her male relatives in the retaliation.

This is not all; the aggrieved woman can even be allotted a part of the house for personal use.

3. The respondent can be prohibited from dispossessing the aggrieved person or in any other manner disturbing her possessions, entering the aggrieved person’s place of work, if the aggrieved person is a child, the school. Also magistrate can bar the respondent to communicate with aggrieved person by “personal, oral, written, electronic or telephonic contact.”

4. The magistrate can impose monthly payments of maintenance. The respondent can also be ordered to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered by the aggrieved person and any child of aggrieved person as a result of domestic violence. It can also cover loss of earnings, medical expenses, loss or damage to property.
Under Sec 22 magistrate can make the respondent pay compensation and damages for injuries including mental torture and emotional distress caused by act(s) of domestic violence.

5. Penalty up to one-year and/or a fine up to Rs. 20,000/- can be imposed under under the act. The offence is also considered cognizable and non-bailable while Sec 32 (2) goes even says that ‘under the sole testimony of the aggrieved person, the court may conclude that an offence has been committed by the accused”.

6. The act ensures speedy justice as the court has to start proceedings and have the first hearing within 3 days of the complaint being filed in the court and every case must be disposed off within a period of sixty days of the first hearing.

7. The act makes provisions for state to provide for protection officers and status of ‘service providers’ and ‘medical facility’.

8. Chapter 4 Sec 16 allows the magistrate to hold proceedings in camera “if either party to the proceedings so desires”.

By Nikita Anand on August 14, 2010 · Posted in Law And Society, Law and Women, Legal Issues, Simplified statute

13 Comments | Post Comment

Sumitra says:

Seriously vry nice yr ,Keep it up.

Posted on August 27th, 2010

Nikita Anand says:

Thank you Sumitra! :-)

Posted on August 27th, 2010

murugambal says:

Whether the offence under this Act can be compounded?

Posted on November 8th, 2010

Nikita Anand says:

As far as my knowledge goes ..under this act the offence cannot be compounded.

Posted on November 13th, 2010

rajeev says:

These laws are nothing but extortion tools for unscrupulous wives.

Women who are real sufferers do not get any justice because they are true Indian women, and a true Indian women never cross the line of her home.

Posted on March 31st, 2011

Nikita Anand says:

May be you are right to a certain extent Mr. Rajeev. But these laws come in handy when the ‘Indian woman’ gets enlightened and decides to stand against her abusive, brutal and greedy husband and in-laws. The capacity of tolerating mis-behavior does not make a woman a ‘true indian woman’. Its more about taking a firm stand for your rights and a happier life.

Posted on April 1st, 2011

rajeev says:

Who told you this law comes in handy when Indian women stand against her abusive husband ?

98% cases are false means cases are filed without any abuse.

There is one more law 498a to which Supreme Court has declared it as LEGAL TERRORISM.

By True Indian women, i mean women who suffers her whole life or better they suicide but they do not file case because mostly they are uneducated and poor, i.e., rural Indian women.

But most urban Indian women are corrupt. They (mis)use these laws to settle scores. These laws are bargaining tool when they are caught in adultery.

You are saying this law is useful to fight against brutal & greedy husband, then tell me why dowry deaths are still happening in India ? Why these laws are not able to save innocent women’s lives ?

Because true sufferers never come forward, they are poor and illiterate, nobody will marry them after divorce.

When educated and urban women suffers, then it is better to take a divorce and start a new life instead of fighting in court for many years. Divorce is no more taboo in urban India.

These laws have many faults.

Mother(a women), sister(a women) are also arrested along with the husband. So in every case minimum TWO WOMEN of husband family also suffers. Even in one case, two year old child was also arrested. This is height of misuse.

These laws are not for womens but only for wives.

Don’t you think there is something wrong in the law ?

Suppose if a women is filing a case (whether true or false) against his husband, then what is the need to drag his old mother, old father, sister, children of sister.

We all want a law to punish the dowry seekers but we also want a law to punish the women who misuses it. But women who file false case never gets punishment even they have been proved wrong in the court.

These laws have become a money making business for lawyers, judges, police, feminists and unscrupulous wives & her parents. They all get some share in each case.

Wife (innocent)+ Husband (greedy) = Law for wife (use it)
Wife (greedy) + Husband (innocent) = Again law for wife & they misuse it, no law for innocent husband.

Isn’t is a human right’s violation ?

Posted on April 2nd, 2011

Ashna says:

Rural women suffer the brutality and harrasement because they are uneducated and are unaware of the law and justice.In some cases the urban women who are educated are also the victims of domestic violence.Why suffer the embarresment and cruel behaviour of husband and inlaws ? I feel it is better to get rid of the relationship wherein a women is deprived of her self respect,happiness etc.Every women has the right to live happily,thanks to the law and justice of the country.

Posted on September 7th, 2011

Jeslyn says:

Your story was really inaformtive, thanks!

Posted on December 3rd, 2011

Suguresh says:

It’s highly misusing by the urban womans

Posted on December 3rd, 2011

Suguresh says:

Supreme court should ulter this law that the case should be failed only against only her husband first and after investigation if it proves then only on others .(i.e. His father, mother, sisters,brother ) then only they should file the case on others

Posted on December 3rd, 2011

Jayant says:

Adv Nikita Anand
Can case under DV act be filed if the matter is pre 2005?
My sister left her matrimonial home in 2003 due to cruelty from her husband and in laws.
She filed 498A in 2004.
Now she wants to file a case under Domestic Violence.
Is it possible to file a case under DV act now?
Pls comment.

Posted on September 30th, 2012

shaan says:

nicely written,hope to hear more from u.
Can u tell me if any changes have been made to the act?

Posted on February 1st, 2013