Delhi Court expresses concern over misuse of Domestic Violence Act
New Delhi, Aug 29 (PTI) A Delhi court has expressed its concern over the misuse of the Domestic Violence Act to settle civil dispute between sparring couples with the use of women as "pawn" by the male relatives.
"The misuse and abuse of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is a matter of serious concern for the courts which are required to be careful and ensure that a woman petitioner is not made a puppet or pawn in the hands of her male relatives so as to manipulate the Act and use it for ulterior motives," Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.
The court said the purpose of passing the welfare law was to protect the family value system and not to create a civil right.
"The provisions of special legislation in favour of women cannot be abused as the short cut for establishing a civil rights where none exists," the court said.
"The intent of the Act is to protect the value system and institution of family and save it from destruction. This being so, the provisions of the Act have to be so interpreted to ensure that the existing family system is preserved," it said.
The court made the observation while dismissing an appeal of a woman who challenged an order rejecting her plea to be given a wholesome right to reside in a shanty also being occupied by her brother-in-law and sister-in-law.
"It is evident that the attempt of the appellant (woman) is to ensure the division of the property and create her independent right in the same under the garb of the present petition," the court said.
It also noted that the woman as well as her husband have "collusively" filed the petition by "camouflaging a dispute" and have sought the invocation of the Protection of Women from the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, with the sole object of seeking the removal of her brother-in-law and sister-in-law from the property in question.
"This court cannot be a party to any such attempt of the parties to abuse the special legislation enacted to grant immediate relief to women who are victims of Domestic Violence. The right of one woman (the appellant) cannot be implemented by infringing upon a similar right of another woman i.e. sister-in-law/jethani in the same property," ASJ Lau said.
Domestic Violence Act: Court pulls up woman
A Delhi court has slammed a woman petitioner for misusing of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.
Noting that Sunita Devi connived with her husband to file the petition against her in-laws, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said: “The intent of the Act is to protect the value system and institution of family. The misuse and abuse of the Act is a matter of serious concern for courts who must ensure that a woman petitioner is not made a puppet in the hands of her male relatives so as to manipulate the Act and use it for ulterior motives.”
The court was hearing the appeal of Sunita, who had appealed against the March order of a Metropolitan Magistrate, dismissing her petition under the Act.
The appellant said that her brother-in-law and sister-in-law requested shelter at her Delhi house in July 2008. Since then they abused her verbally and physically and with the brother-in-law even tried to kill her under the influence of alcohol, she claimed.
Alleging that they also looted Rs 7,700 from her, Sunita requested the court for grant of maintenance, compensation and also to pass protection orders under the Act.
The brother-in-law pleaded that it was his property and he had allowed Sunita and her husband to live there, but the papers of his ownership had been lost.
The court noted that none of the parties have papers to establish their ownership over the property constructed by DDA, and the home in which Sunita was living with her husband was separate from the one that her in-laws were residing in.
The domestic incident report also revealed that when Sunita came to live in the house, her husband and in-laws were already residing there.
The court said, “The attempt of the appellant is to ensure division of property and create her right under the garb of the petition. It is clear that she and her husband have collusively filed the petition by camouflaging a dispute. Such kind of abuse of the special legislation should be checked at the earliest.”