While the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (DV) Act, 2005, has been enacted for safeguarding women from domestic violence, we cannot allow its provisions to be misused or abused, the Bombay high court observed last week.
The court was hearing the criminal proceedings against 43-year-old Kerala resident Shibu Kunju initiated by his wife — purportedly married to him for 19 years — over claims of ill treatment.
Justice BR Gavai quashed the proceedings primarily on the ground that the alleged marriage between the Malyali Christian and his Hindu wife had been solemnised on May 29, 1989, while the FIR was lodged under the act on May 28, 2008 — 19 years after the purported marriage.
The judge also noted that the woman had admitted to residing with Kunju only for 2-3 months, the period during which the ill treatment was allegedly meted out. She alleged that Kunju had dropped her at her parental house assuring that he would come back within a few days, but never turned up.
The court also observed that general allegations regarding ill treatment were made in the FIR while no specific incident of ill treatment was stated either by the petitioner or her parents. The court, therefore, concluded that it was “nothing else but an abuse of process of law.”
Acting on the woman’s complaint filed under the DV Act, the magistrate had, in April 2008, directed the concerned protection officer to help her reside in the shared household of her husband.
After the sessions court dismissed his plea, Shibu had moved the high court.