Domestic violence Act takes a beating as women misuse it | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Domestic violence Act takes a beating as women misuse it

mumbai Updated: Apr 05, 2010 00:39 IST
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A 70-year-old woman filed a complaint against her 75-year-old husband saying he’s not letting her install an air-conditioner. The woman asked the court to restrain him from entering their house under the domestic violence Act.
A woman who deserted her husband in Kolkata and returned to Mumbai alleges his filing a divorce petition is an act of domestic violence.

A 30-year-old woman got divorced and remarried, but has appealed that her ex-husband be restrained from entering the house they used to share. It’s in his name.

Mumbai: It was put into place to empower women, and that’s what the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, does. Largely. But many women are misusing the Act, say city lawyers.

In all three cases mentioned above, the magistrates passed interim order in favour of the women without hearing the other side.

Lawyers who have been dealing with domestic issues feel that such frivolous complaints are on the rise. “In 2006, there were very few cases under the DV Act. Now every magistrate has 8-10 complaints,” said an advocate, requesting anonymity.

The concern is that the misuse of the law will eventually affect the genuine cases.

If used properly, this Act is boon even for minors and husbands, said advocate Asim Sarode, a human rights activist who handles domestic violence cases. “There is no law that has not been misused. In the process of learning the importance of rights and duties, misuse is inevitable,” he said.

Advocate Shekhar Jagtap said magistrates should be cautious. “Before passing an order, the magistrate should step into the complainant’s shoe. This will help in deciding the genuineness of the complaint.”