In a first-of-its-kind use of the stringent Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, a 12-year-old girl has moved a complaint against her father alleging “mental and emotional violence.”
Anita (name changed on request), whose parents are divorced, moved a complaint in a Pune court on June 20, two month after her father obtained a stay order against her moving from a boarding school in Tamil Nadu to Pune, where her mother resides.
Anita wants to move to a school in Pune as she feels “alone and homesick” after her elder sister passed out of the school earlier this year.
“The child should not be made a victim of the blown-up egos of the parents. She should not be used as a toy by her parents,” said Asim Sarode, Anita’s lawyer.
Anita’s petition alleges that her mother had informed her father “in good faith and as a law abiding citizen” about her intention of studying in a school closer to home.
Her father then moved a family court and obtained a stay on Anita moving out of her boarding school.
The parents possess joint custody of Anita.
Sarode alleged Anita’s father had failed to pay her school fees on several occasions. “And now even the welfare of the child is not being considered by the father,” said Sarode.
Anita also alleged that her father has attempted to meet her at the school without informing the school authorities. This, she said, amounts to “gross mental, emotional, psychological violence against her” as it makes her “feel helpless and angry because he disregards her wishes”.
Through the petition, Anita has also asked the court to stop her father from “playing with her emotions to take revenge with her mother or by dragging her unnecessarily in their difference of opinion”.
Anita’s mother said she knew her daughter had filed the complaint, but refused comment. Her father could not be contacted. A Pune court will hear Anita’s complaint on Monday.