How Long Do You Go To Jail For Domestic Violence In India?


After reading this article, you will wonder to know the nature of crime under The Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Before we learn the nature of the crime, we need to know what the crime under the above said act is. We will deeply study the relief provided to the aggrieved party and penalties imposed on convicted. Simultaneously, we will see the punishment for contempt of court in interim or final order under this act. To get specific knowledge of domestic violence, we will see associated crimes and punishment for those crimes.

What is Domestic Violence?

Section 3 of The Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides that any conduct of the husband or persons related to her husband which injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being of wife whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and it includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse constitutes domestic violence. As stated by the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence against Women, the definition of domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanour crimes of violence committed by a spouse to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner.

In short, domestic violence means affliction of force with the intention to injure the women in a family by a husband or his relatives for any reason.

Whether Domestic Violence is a civil wrong or criminal offence?

The Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 aims to give a woman a respectful and affectionate place in the family. The use of word ‘violence’ connoted that this is a criminal offence but the law is civil in nature. Madras High Court in the matter of Vijaya Baskar vs. Suganya Devi opined that this is a civil matter. Afterwards, Gujarat HC asserted the same view in 2014. However, under section 31 non-compliance of orders of the court may impose imprisonment up to 1 year or fine of Rs. 20000 or both. This has been made a cognizable and non-bailable offence. Under this act, maintenance can be sought without taking divorce. Though this is a civil matter by judicial magistrate it is tried by Cr.PC 1973 for effective implementation of the Act.

Associated Crime and Punishment

Cruelty under Section 498A critically has the same definition of domestic violence and for this imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine can be imposed but being a criminal offence no monetary relief or compensation is provided.


Domestic violence is not a criminal offence so there is no punishment for the civil wrong. However, compensation is provided to the aggrieved party.

This article is written by Sonu Kumar Chaudhari student of 2nd year B.A. LL.B (Hons.) at Faculty of Law University of Allahabad

Also Read: What Types of Cruelty Does Section 498A Deals With?

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