The reason why the Domestic Violence Act was enacted, was to protect the women from abuses, after marriage, Since then, it has been used for good, but it has also been abused by many.
If we take a look at the history, then what we find is, men dominating the women. This domination could be in any form, like, it could be Torture, or domestic violence, and other abuses.
But here we focus on domestic violence. Those who are the victims of Domestic Violence can seek relief under both civil as well as criminal laws. Domestic violence is considered a violation of human rights in the first place, be it any kind of domestic violence, including household, or marriage, or living in relationships, etc.
United Nations, and other nations felt a need to curb domestic violence against women in the whole world, after observing the various cases of domestic violence, over many years, which were increasing day by day at an alarming rate. And to do this, all the countries enacted different laws, to prevent such inhumane treatment of women, that included torturing her or treating her like animals.
When we talk about India, then the law “Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, of 2005 got enacted, and came into effect on 26th October 2006. Section 498-A under the Indian Penal Code, provides that after a marriage, if the husband of the wife, or her in-laws, and husband’s other relatives, then such a person who commits such offence is liable to a punishment of imprisonment, that could be extended up to 3 years, along with fine. It is made to protect the women against the cruelty that is done to them after marriage. Section 3 of the Act has defined the term Domestic Violence.
Also Read – Violence Against Women
Under this Act, domestic violence can include, physical threat, economic threat, sexual threat, verbal, or emotional threat, or even actual abuse. It means that it is not necessary for the violence to be physical in nature.
But as there are so many benefits, so there are abuses of this Act. The victims, abuse the provisions of this act, by false allegations. These women keep on blackmailing or threatening their husband, in – laws, or relatives of husband, asking for money and all. At such a situation, the accused under the provisions of this act, cannot even afford to take his stand and explain everything. Even if the women lives separately from her husband, she can still blame or accuse her falsely just to extract money. Most of the time, it is seen that the person accused remains defenceless, due to the provisions of this act, which are of presumptive nature. In such a situation, the accused, not only has to suffer the mental torture, and defamation in the society, but also he has to pay the maintenance, and also the compensations to the wife, according to the Hindu Marriage Act. Sometimes the falsely accused person are the elderly parents of the husband, who are not in the state to suffer or survive such a mental trauma as a result of the harassment done by the wife.
This act had caused more harm than good, although it was intended to protect women from abuse, but it itself is being abused. Then the society torments the falsely allegated husband or others, who donot let them live. And some people, who cannot tolerate such defamation, and torments, choose to commit crimes, either by killing themselves, or the wife.
Therefore, this act needs to be reviewed, and little amendments need to be made to it. A accused person is not guilty unless proved, and the society shall also understand this, and stop prejudicing and tormenting the accused person. It will be good for the society and every one.
This article is authored by Divyanshu Mishra, student of BBA LL.B (Hons.) at Amity University, Lucknow
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