India: Landmark Domestic Violence Act 2005 to take effect from October 26, 2006 Print E-mail
 Thursday October 26 2006

Wife beaters tread on thin ice hereafter

 

New Delhi, pti: Beware, bad husbands! From now on, beating or insulting your wife could land you in jail with a fine of upto Rs 20,000.

Coming into effect from Thursday, the Domestic Violence Act 2005 is primarily meant to provide protection to the wife or female live-in partner from violence at the hands of the husband or male live-in partner, or his relatives.

Domestic violence under the Act includes actual abuse or threat of abuse, whether physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economical, said a statement from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, which issued a notification in this regard on Wednesday.

It said the law also extends its protection to sisters, mothers and widows.

“For long, we have been trying to protect women from domestic violence. In India alone, around 70 per cent of women fall victim to these violent acts, in one form or the other,” Renuka Chowdhury, Minister of State for Women and Child Development, said here.

She said the law would go a long way in providing relief to women from domestic violence and helping them get their due. The ministry has simultaneously issued another notification laying down the rules framed for the implementation of the Act, which would provide for, among other things, appointment of protection officers, service providers and counsellors.

The law will cover women who are, or have been, in a relationship with the abuser, where both parties have lived together in a shared household and are related by consanguinity, marriage or a relationship in the nature of marriage or adoption. Besides physical violence the Act also covers sexual violence like forced intercourse, forcing the wife or mate to watch pornography or any other obscene pictures, and child sexual abuse.

Important features
One of the most important features of the Act is the woman’s right to secure housing, the statement said, adding that it provides a right to reside in the matrimonial and shared household, whether or not she holds any title in the household. The Act provides for breach of protection order or interim protection order by the respondent as a cognisable and non-bailable offence, punishable with imprisonment for a term that may extend to one year or with fine, which has a ceiling of Rs 20,000, or both.

The other relief envisaged is that of the power of the court to pass protection orders that could prevent the abuser from aiding or committing any act of domestic violence or any other specified act, entering a workplace or any other place frequented by the abused.

PUNISHABLE ACTS

*Physical violence such as beating, slapping, hitting, kicking and pushing

*Sexual violence like forced intercourse, forcing mate to watch pornography and child sexual abuse

*Verbal and emotional violence such as name-calling and insults

*Preventing wife from taking up a job or forcing her to leave her job

*Harassment by way of unlawful dowry demands

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 Thursday October 26 2006

Domestic Violence Act takes effect today

It also covers harassment of a woman by way of dowry demands

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2006 comes into effect from Thursday, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Primarily meant to provide protection to the wife or a female live-in partner from violence at the hands of the husband or the male live-in partner or his relatives, the law also extends its protection to mother, sisters and widows.

The Act covers abuse or threat of abuse, whether physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic. Harassment by way of unlawful dowry demands to a woman or her relatives also come under this definition.

The Ministry simultaneously issued another notification, which lays down the rules for the implementation of the Act.

They provide for, among other things, appointment of protection officers, service providers and counsellors.

Action to be taken in the event of a respondent breaching the protection order passed by a magistrate in favour of the aggrieved woman is also prescribed under the rules.

The Act seeks to cover those women who are or have been in a relationship with the abuser, where both parties have lived together in a shared household and are related by consanguinity, marriage or a relationship in the nature of marriage, or adoption, in addition relationship with family members living together as a joint family.

An important feature is a woman's right to secure housing. It provides for her right to reside in the matrimonial or shared household, whether or not she has any title or rights in the household.

This right is secured by a residence order, which is passed by a court.

The other relief envisaged is that of the power of the court to pass protection orders that prevent the abuser from aiding or committing an act or domestic violence or any other specified act, entering a workplace or any other place frequented by the abused, attempting to communicate with the abused, isolating any assets used by both the parties and causing violence to the abused, her relatives and others who provide her assistance from domestic violence.