Friday, 4 October 2013

Woman can be booked for domestic violence: HC

Shibu Thomas TNN 

Mumbai: Woman relatives can be charged under the anti-domestic violence legislation,the Bombay high court has ruled. 
    Hearing the plea of a 28-year-old Nanded resident who had charged her inlaws, including her sistersin-law, for harassment, Justice A M Thipsay struck down the order of a sessions court judge who had dropped the charges against the female relatives. 
    “The view taken by the 
sessions judge that women will not be covered by the definition of the term ‘respondent’, as given in the Domestic Violence Act, is clearly contrary to law,” said Justice Thipsay. 
    The court cited a Supreme Court judgment, which stated that the 2005 law brought in to protect women from violence in the house was maintainable against female relatives too. 

    Sadhna Mhatre, a homemaker, had lodged a complaint of harassment against her husband’s relatives. A magistrate court refused to delete the names of Sadhna’s female relatives. However, a sessions judge quashed the proceedings against the female relatives and also said that there were not enough grounds to proceed against them. 
    Sadhna challenged the order before the HC. Justice Thipsay said the provisions of the anti-domestic violence law could not be equa
ted with a criminal trial and were akin to civil proceedings. “The considerations, whether or not there were sufficient grounds for proceedings in a given case, ought not arise in such proceedings,” said the judge. “The sessions judge has misdirected himself in applying the principles.” The court added that, “Even otherwise, whether the allegations levelled by the petitioner would ultimately be proved, could have been decided only after the evidence would be recorded.”

Source:::: The Times of India, 04-10-2013, p.07,

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