Mumbai: Victims of domestic violence that have happened even before the Act came into force can now heave a sigh of relief as the Bombay High Court on Saturday held that provisions of the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence (DV) Act, 2005, will apply retrospectively.
This order will mean that women can seek benefit of the welfare provisions provided in the new Act even though they
have faced violence even before the Act came into force in October 2006.
The order has been passed on a petition filed by a 60-year-old Pune-based former government servant, who had challenged an order passed by a magistrate in September 2008
favouring his 58-year-old wife under the new DV Act.
Justice Abhay Oka has upheld the Magistrate`s order that
had held the Act to be treated retrospectively.
The husband`s contention was that he had been living
separately from his wife since 2001 and hence the Act cannot
be invoked in his case.
He claimed that his wife had been residing separately
and she had filed for divorce on grounds of cruelty and
adultery. He argued that since the couple was living apart
since 2001, therefore there was no question of the husband
committing any act of domestic violence after October 17,
2006, the date of which the DV Act came into effect.
In February 2008, the wife filed an application under DV
Act seeking relief with regard to residence. Husband opposed
application stating that DV Act would not apply
The Magistrate however rejected the husband`s contention
and allowed the wife`s application.
The DV Act, 2005, provides protection against abuse to
women including wives, live-in partners, widows, sisters and