New Delhi: A woman, who is living with her brothers, can take refuge under the Domestic Violence Act in case of any harassment to her, a Delhi court has said.
"It emerges that when an aggrieved person lives or at any stage has been in domestic relationship with the respondents and has been subjected to any domestic violence, the
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is applicable," Additional Sessions Judge Shalinder Kaur said.
The court said that the welfare legislation could be invoked by a woman even against those with whom she had lived at any point of time.
It passed the observation while allowing a plea of widow, whose petition seeking relief under the Domestic Violence Act against her brothers was dismissed by a metropolitan
magistrate saying that there was no domestic relationship between her and her brothers.
She submitted that she was living with her brothers and alleged that they have forged her signatures in an effort to dislodge her from their ancestral property at Karol Bagh here.
Her brothers` claim that they were not living in a shared household could not impress the court which noted, "all the respondents (brothers) at some point of the time had lived
together in the same house. Moreover, the house in question is stated to be their ancestral house."
Explaining the provisions of the Act, the court said Section 2(f) connotes the meaning of "domestic relationship" as a relationship between two persons who live or have, at any
point of time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family.
The court, while granting relief to the woman, also took into consideration a report of the Protection Officer, appointed under the Act to look into the complaint of the aggrieved, stating, "it emerges that appellant is being subjected to abuses and harassment at the hands of respondents (brothers).
It dismissed the order of the metropolitan magistrate with a direction to consider her plea afresh.