Supreme Court terms 2005 law on domestic violence as a 'milestone'

Terming the 2005 law on protection of women from domestic violence as a milestone, the Supreme Court Thursday said such offences against them is rampant in this country and face violence in some form or the other on almost every day.

The top court said a woman resigns her fate to the never ending cycle of enduring violence and discrimination as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a partner or a single woman in her lifetime.

The enactment of Act, 2005 is a milestone for protection of women in this country, the apex court said and added the domestic violence in this country is rampant and several women encounter violence in some form or the other on almost every day, however, it is the least reported form of cruel behavior.

It said the non-retaliation by women against violence, coupled with the absence of laws addressing women's issues, ignorance of the existing laws enacted for them and societal attitude makes them vulnerable.

The reason why most cases of domestic violence are never reported is due to the social stigma of the society and the attitude of the women themselves, where women are expected to be subservient, not just to their male counterparts but also to the male's relatives, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan observed.

Till the year 2005, the remedies available to a victim of domestic violence were limited, it said, adding that the women either had to go to the civil court for a decree of divorce or initiate prosecution in the criminal court for the harassment suffered at matrimonial homes.

In both the proceedings, no emergency relief/reliefs is/are available to the victim. Also, the relationships outside the marriage were not recognized. This set of circumstances ensured that a majority of women preferred to suffer in silence, not out of choice but of compulsion, the bench, which also comprised R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah, said.

It said the progress of any society depends on its ability to protect and promote the rights of its women. Guaranteeing equal rights and privileges to women by the Constitution of India had marked the step towards the transformation of the status of the women in this Country.

The observations came in a judgement in which the apex court held that the relief granting right to residence to a married woman under the domestic violence law by a criminal court is relevant and can be considered even in civil proceedings seeking her eviction from the matrimonial home.

The judgement dealt with the statutory scheme of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act and said that prior to its enactment in 2005, the victims had very limited scope of getting interim reliefs in such cases under other laws.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel