Women subjected to violence by their husbands even before the Domestic Violence Act came into force can sue their husbands under the Act, a city court has held.
The Act came into force in October 2006.
Vinod (name changed), a businessman from South East Delhi married Kavita (name changed) in January 2002.
After a few months of their marriage, Kavita told her parents that Vinod would regularly beat her up. And Vinod’s parents, she told them, were only encouraging their son.
“My husband comes from an influential family and has been threatening me to withdraw the court cases,” said Kavita in her complaint.
Kavita had alleged her miscarriage was a result of the violence inflicted by her own husband.
Later, she filed a complaint against her husband and his family members.
Kavita separated from Vinod after just six months of marriage.
Disposing off the complaint, Metropolitan Magistrate Surya Malik Grover said, “The court is competent to take cognizance of the act of domestic violence committed even prior to the Act came into force and pass necessary protection orders.”
Rubinder Ghumman and Anu Mehta, counsels for the complainant, contended, “Domestic Violence Act is retrospective in operation. And despite court orders, the accused have not paid the maintenance amount regularly to the complainant.”
Vinod’s counsel contended before the court that the couple is staying separately before the passing of the Act in 2006, and all alleged acts of domestic violence have been committed before the Act came into force.
“The respondents — Vinod and his family members — cannot be subjected to penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence,” said the respondent’s counsel.
“In view of the aforesaid discussion, I am satisfied that the present complaint under the Domestic Violence Act is maintainable” the judge said.