Married sisters of a man, living separately from the joint family, cannot be prosecuted under the Domestic Violence Act on a complaint of his wife, a Delhi court has held.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau expressed concern over "misuse" of special laws by making women parties in the petitions just because they happened to be sisters of the man.
"Married sisters residing in their own matrimonial houses are not a part of the shared household or joint family as contemplated under the Domestic Violence Act," the court said.
It, however, clarified that the married sisters were not denied the rights, which could be claimed from their parental home.
"Married daughters cannot be terrorised into abandoning their parental family under the fear of their involvement into litigations connected with domestic violence," Lau said.
The court noted that increasing number of cases of abuse of special legislations have come into light and instances are not rare where the women protection laws have been used as weapons for settling personal scores in cases of marital discord.