Domestic violence: Women relatives of hubby can be booked
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Last Updated: Sunday, September 13, 2009, 19:55
Mumbai: In a significant order, Bombay High Court has ruled that complaint can be filed against female relatives of husband under Domestic Violence Act.

Reversing a session's court order, the High Court in its direction last week, asked the Magistrate to proceed with the trial against a victim's mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

While giving the directions, Justice Abhay Oka observed if the legislature wanted to exclude female relatives from the definition of "respondent", it would have specifically made such provision.

According to the victim's complaint in June 2004, she was beaten up by her husband, mother-in-law and others, and was thrown out of home.

Subsequently Archana filed a complaint with magistrate under the Act, demanding, among other things, that she be allowed to live in the house owned by her mother-in-law.

The Magistrate, in 2008, passed an interim order, asking her in-laws to allow her to stay in their house. Judge also asked police in Daman to give her protection.

Urmilaben Naik, her mother-in-law, along with others challenged magistrate's order before Sessions Court and contended that under the Domestic Violence Act, relief cannot be sought against a female relative of husband.

They also argued that house -- which they were ordered to share with Archana -- belonged solely to Urmilaben, so Archana had no claim on it.

Sessions court upheld this contention, deleting names of female relatives, including the mother-in-law, from the proceedings.

But, Justice Oka quashed Sessions Court order and asked Magistrate to proceed with the trial observing that there was no provision in the Act which substantiated the order.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, September 13, 2009, 19:55

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