As a law firm, we wish to provide an informative and detailed opinion on Section 2(a) of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, which defines the term “aggrieved person” as a woman who is or has been in a domestic relationship with the respondent and alleges to have suffered any act of domestic violence. This definition is essential when it comes to providing protection and justice for women who are victims of domestic violence.
The term “domestic relationship” has been broadly defined under Section 2(f) of the Act which includes marriage, living together in a shared household, consanguinity or relationships by adoption, family members living together as joint families etc. Therefore, this definition encompasses not only physical abuse but also emotional, verbal and economic abuse that women may suffer within their homes.
This legal provision was enacted for the purpose of protecting women irrespective of their marital status including those who are divorced or separated. The legislation provides comprehensive protection measures such as restraining orders against respondents, monetary relief for losses incurred by aggrieved persons due to domestic violence incidents and custody rights over children.
Furthermore, this section is equally relevant to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). There have been several cases where Indian men residing outside India have abandoned their wives abroad without divorcing them through legal channels. In such cases where a woman faces harassment at her matrimonial home abroad but cannot seek assistance from local authorities in foreign lands; she can seek help under this Act if she chooses to come back India with a view obtaining protections.
This legal recourse acts as an extension beyond personal laws applicable in India like Hindu Marriage Act or Muslim Personal Law Board making it more inclusive towards all cultural background communities residing within India jurisdiction.
In light of recent amendments introduced in December ’19 clarifying certain provisions within the ambit our scope shall be confined exclusively towards case laws prior post enactment:
1. S.R.Batasha vs Union Of India(2013) – In this case, the Delhi High Court held that Section 2(a) of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act protects all women regardless of their marital status or whether they are staying together with the respondent. The court stated that the definition is wide enough to include women who have been in a domestic relationship and suffered violence.
2. Sandhya Manoj Wankhade vs Manoj Bhimrao Wankhade (2019)- This case highlights how an estranged husband can still be prosecuted under DV Act if it was found that he had committed abuse during subsistence of marriage.
3. Smt Neera Singh vs Rohit Shishodia(2008) – In this matter, the applicant filed for monetary relief against her husband and father-in-law under Section 12 read with section 20(1)(d) alleging physical assault and defamation which led to her loss in income while performing work as a private tutor besides questioning residence on his ancestral property. Relief was granted for monetary damages thus reducing her loss due to such acts.
4.Parveen Bhati Vs Inderjit Bhati(2010)-This landmark judgment eased obtaining a Protection Order by removing geographical restrictions particularly important in context NRIs where women have been abandoned without support or access to local remedies at foreign country like USA,Australia etc
Therefore, it is evident from these cases that Section 2(a) has been interpreted broadly by courts in India based on its legislative intent behind enacting DV Act; it serves as an essential mechanism towards protection of rights and dignity for victims subjected to domestic violence within any kind of familial relationships including those having relatives abroad facing similar issues but limited legal recourse available overseas.
In conclusion, we assert wholeheartedly believe that Section 2(a) is crucial when it comes to providing justice and safety measures for aggrieved persons suffering from domestic violence across different socio-cultural backgrounds ensuring just and humane treatment for all individuals irrespective of such personalized differences. Therefore, it is important that people are made aware of the provisions of this Act to protect victims from suffering any form of abuse within their homes or otherwise.