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Assignment on

The laws for the protection of women against violence
prior to The
PWDVA, 2005

&

A critical analysis of – The Protection of Women against
Domestic Violence Act, 2005

Most of India is made up of patrilineal communities which add a patriarchal attitude
in Indian society. In other words, one would not be very wrong to say that Indian
society is largely patriarchal. As a patriarchal society, laws for the protection of
women’s rights in India have always had an importance. The Indian Constitution has
had laws for the protection of women’s rights from the time it started functioning.
Initially, women’s were given special attention though a few constitutional articles.
However, it can be seen that special laws and acts for the protection of women’s
rights were made gradually with the realization of the need for such laws.

The Constitution of India guarantees equality of sexes and in fact grants special
favors to women. These can be found in three articles of the Constitution. Article 14
says that the government shall not deny to any person equality before law or the
equal protection of the laws. Article 15 declares that government shall not
discriminate against any citizen on the ground of sex. Article 15 (3) makes a special
provision enabling the State to make affirmative discriminations in favor of women.
Moreover, the government can pass special laws in favor of women. Article 16
guarantees that no citizen shall be discriminated against in matters of public
employment on the grounds of sex. Article 42 directs the State to make provision
for ensuring just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief. Above all, the
Constitution imposes a fundamental duty on every citizen through Articles 15 (A) (e)
to renounce the practices derogatory to the dignity of women. All these are
fundamental rights. Therefore, a woman can go to the court if one is subjected to
any discrimination. When we talk about constitutional rights of women in India, we
mainly pertain to those areas where discrimination is done against women and
special laws formulated to fight those bigotries. The most important issues stand as
those pertaining to marriage, children, abortion, crimes against women, and
inheritance.

sodomy or bestiality. any man marrying again while his wife is living will be punished with fine and imprisonment up to seven years. the bridegroom must be 21 years old and the bride 18 years. the forerunner of the present Special Marriage Act. In the beginning. Monogamy 2. Now. Under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956. A civil marriage would be void if four essential conditions are not complied with. A marriage may be invalid without the boy or the girl realizing it at the time of the wedding. The Child Marriage Act of 1929 was not very effective as such marriages were continued to be performed. however. • A fifth reason for invalidating a marriage is impotence of either party. we should have a glance into the marriage laws in India. In this regard. There are some grounds available to the wife only. are "within degrees of prohibited relationship" unless custom governing at least one party permits the marriage between them. Marriageable age 4. E. it would be a ground for the wife to seek dissolution of marriage. child marriages were the norms. One such ground available exclusively to the wife is her husband's commission of rape. They are: 1.g. Formerly. In the 19th century. Domestic violence. a Hindu wife is entitled to be maintained by her husband. inter- caste marriages were banned.In our contemporary Indian society. as enumerated below: • If it is bigamy • If either party was suffering from mental disorder • If the boy has not completed 21 years and the girl 18 years • The boy and the girl are too closely related. However. Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code also deals with maintenance of wife and children. Prohibited relationships are listed in the Special Marriage Act. a large number of crimes are committed against women within the sphere of marriage. These conditions are listed in the Special Marriage Act (Section 4). the Act sets four essential conditions for a valid Hindu marriage. after the act was passed. Some such revolutionary laws were Hindu Widows Remarriage Act 1865 and the Brahmo Samaj Marriage Act 1872. the British rulers passed several laws to protect customs and traditions while abolishing detestable practices like Sati. The parties should not be too closely related Polygamy was permitted among Hindus before the Act was passed in 1955. and polygamy was common. there is a separate Muslim Code of Conduct. both in Hindu and civil marriages. which allows polygamy of up to four wives as per Islamic laws. If there is a decree of maintenance against the husband and the couple has been living apart for over one year. or in legal language. child marriages were common. Here again the Muslim Personal Law has a different set of conditions for the annulment of an Islamic marriage. Sound mind 3. However. . Before modern Hindu laws were passed. the girl became a part of the husband's family.

slowly assumed extraordinary proportions and turned into a social evil. which may extend to six months or with fine up to Rs. The bride's family could no longer have an individual say. Section 313 deals with abortion without the consent of the woman. violent and forceful abortion is a crime.Any person who keeps or manages. for the Prevention of immoral traffic. The punishment could even be life imprisonment. Dowry that started off as a practice to give away presents to the departing daughter. such premises or any part thereof as a brothel.000 or with both. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act of 1956 was the first Act made for the protection of a right of women. or acts or assists in the keeping or management of. 5. Crimes like rape. The reason behind this custom is the poor economical condition of the people along with a lack of education. The Hindu Succession Act gives male and female heirs almost equal right to inheritance. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act of 1956 says that . Sections 312 and 316 of the Indian Penal Code deal with abortion as crime. However. the law does not deal with it. Such a custom is being practiced not only in India but also in other countries like Bangladesh and Nepal. It was enacted by Parliament in the Seventh Year of the Republic of India. lists were prepared and sent to the girl's house before the final agreement of marriage between the two families. (2) Any person who. The condition being that the boy would marry the girl only if the demands were met. a brothel shall be punishable on first conviction with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than three years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction. Section 14 says that any property possessed by a female Hindu shall be held by her as full owner and not as a limited owner.being the tenant. Therefore. Brides were expected to bring the "gifts" regardless of their personal willingness. with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees. The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act. Rape is the worst crime against women after murder and the maximum punishment under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is life imprisonment.The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 says that any person who gives. or knowingly allows any other person to use. An Act to provide in pursuance of the International Convention signed at New York on the 9th day of May. takes. 1986 laid restrictions and prohibited indecent representation of women through advertisements or in . eve teasing and indecent exposure can be grouped as crimes against women. unawareness of legal rights among women and a general bias against the women. usually some resources to begin her new married life. or abets the giving or taking of dowry shall be punished with imprisonment. 1950. lessee. occupier or person in charge of any premises. uses. An abortion or miscarriage due to natural causes is not an offence. kidnapping.

The parliamentary act which establishes this commission extends over all of India except for the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The act also says that any person who contravenes the provisions of Sec 3 or Sec 4 shall be punishable on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years. IPC: Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty. and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees. Whoever. figures or in any other manner and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. "cruelty" means- (1)Any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life. CrPC . paintings. The agency will be comprised of a chairperson and 6 others to be nominated by the central government for 3-year terms.] Thus these were some of the legal provisions made for the protection of women’s rights in India. conducting special studies into discrimination and atrocities against women. inspecting places where women are held in custody. limb or health whether mental or physical) of the woman. Section 498A. the Indian government established The National Commission for Women Act in 1990 to help women gain equal status and participation in all areas of life and national development. helping plan and monitor the socioeconomic development of women. or (2) Harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her meet such demand. Responding to calls from successive commissions for women and activists. There are some other laws like the section 125. being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman.publications. The commission is also responsible for recommending changes and improvements to existing legislation and practices. and will be charged with reviewing and investigating all provisions and matters regarding legal and constitutional safeguards for women. Explanation-For the purpose of this section. writings. researching which factors impede the advancement of women. and funding litigation on issues involving large groups of women. and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment for term of not less than six months but which may extend to five years and also with a fine not less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to one lakh rupees. and handling them through appropriate authorities where necessary.

widows. Recognition to “relationships in the nature of marriage” – victims of bigamous/ fraudulent marriages. daughters. victims of bigamous marriages. widows. Covers mothers. The descriptions of the persons. 12 . sisters. arrest (imprisonment &/ or fine). Any person can file a complaint on their behalf. Unambiguous recognition of the woman’s right to live free from violence. Mix of both civil & criminal laws – Two stage process –(1) Civil orders passed by Magistrate on Application under Sec. single women etc. through which an aggrieved wife can attain maintenance from husband. before this Act. there has not been any law dealing with domestic violence specifically.(2) On breach of civil orders by the perpetrator.e. remedies of domestic violence have been found in form of civil law (divorce) & criminal law (s. non-matrimonial relationships were not covered under domestic violence by existing laws (e. children are also covered. are Any woman who is or has been in a domestic relationship with the respondent (sisters. The right to reside in shared household – recognizes inequality within the home. mothers. However. domestic relationships are not restricted to the marital context.) and who has been subjected to acts of domestic violence. 498A IPC). Moreover. who can complain i. Provides immediate relief to victims in cases of emergency. women in relationships of cohabitation. Ensures effective access to justice – introduces new authorities & mechanisms (PO as the interface between the woman and the court). Notably. daughters.g. the aggrieved person. and there was no civil law dealing with DV specifically. No clear definition of domestic violence was formulated. The descriptions of the persons against whom a complaint can be filed [Section 2 (q)]: . 2005 Domestic violence has always been one of the major women’s rights violations. Till 2005. Need for immediate & emergency relief was not given special attention. THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT. relationships of cohabitation.) The key features of the PWDVA are: The definition of Domestic violence was formulated on the basis of the UN Framework for Model Legislation on Domestic Violence & UN Declaration on Elimination of Violence Against Women. brothers & sisters etc. Intended specifically to protect women (children both male & female. between parents & children. relations through adoption etc.

. E.: Beating. disposing of household assets to the detriment of the woman. The concept of domestic violence has also been categorized.Any adult male member who has been in a domestic relationship with the woman who files a complaint of domestic violence. title or beneficial interesting the same. ostracizing.g. The Definition of Domestic Violence (Section 3) consists: Any form of abuse causing harm or injury to the physical and / or mental health of the woman or compromising her life and safety. Any harassment for dowry or to meet any other unlawful demand. Verbal & Emotional Abuse and Economic Abuse. adoption. Kicking.: denial of food. E. (ii) Including prohibiting/restricting access to the shared household. • Economic Abuse: (i) Deprivation of the basic economic or financial necessities of life and entitlements that causes injury or harm. E. The Kinds of Abuse that would come under domestic violence are: Physical and Sexual Abuse. Punching etc. Relatives of the husband or the male partner. or through relationships in the nature of marriage. whether or not she has any right.g. marriage. The descriptions of a “Domestic Relationship” [Section 2(g)] are: Relationship between two persons who live or have. The descriptions of the right are: Every woman in a domestic relationship shall have the right to reside in the shared household. or joint family. Section 17 of the PWDV Act provides women the right to reside in “Shared Household”. ridicule and threat causing harm or injury. • Physical Abuse: (i) Any act or conduct that causes bodily injury or hurt. Threat to cause injury or harm. blaming a woman for not having a male child etc. The overall facts & circumstances of the case must be considered by the Court. Such relationships include relations of consanguinity. An aggrieved woman shall have a right not to be evicted or excluded from the shared household or any part of it by the respondent save in accordance with the procedure established by law.: name calling. criminal intimidation and criminal force. disposing off her own assets (such as Stridhan) against her will etc. they include both male and female relatives of husband or the male partner.g. • Sexual Abuse: (i) Any humiliating or degrading sexual act. lived together in the shared household. • Verbal and Emotional Abuse: (i) Insults. (ii) Includes assault. Notably. at any point of time.

" Where either the person aggrieved or the respondent or both jointly or singly have any right. title. Direct the Respondent to remove himself from the shared household (This order cannot be passed against a woman). either singly or along with the respondent. Information by Any Person (Section 4) . Other Reliefs under the PWDV Act includes: Monetary Relief to meet expenses incurred and losses suffered. Interim & Ex parte Orders on the satisfaction of Magistrate. The Procedure of filing a case of domestic violence under the PWDVA is: Stage I: Information of Incident of DV. women are given the right to claim residence orders. Compensation and damages for injuries caused by acts of domestic violence committed by the respondent (mental injury included). interest or equity. The descriptions of a “shared household” are as follows: A household is where the aggrieved person lives / has lived in a domestic relationship. Sections 18 – 23 of the PWDV Act provide women the Provisions for Relief: (i) Protection Orders (Section 18) (ii) (ii) Residence Orders (Section 19) (iii) (iii) Monetary relief (Section 20) (iv) (iv) Custody Order (Section 21) (v) (v) Compensation Order (Section 22) (vi) (vi) Interim/ Ex parte Orders (Section 23) Under the PWDV Act. title or interest in the shared household. Temporary Custody of any child (Best Interest of child principle). including maintenance.Must be reduced into writing (i) To the Protection Officer. irrespective of whether the respondent or person aggrieved has any right. (When she so desires). or . Residence Orders can be passed by court directing the Respondent to: Restrain from disturbing possession of the aggrieved person from the shared household. or from entering any portion of the shared household in which the aggrieved person resides. Includes a household whether owned or tenanted either jointly by the person aggrieved and the respondent. Direct the respondent to secure alternate accommodation for the person aggrieved. medical expenses etc. or by either of them.The descriptions of a “Shared Household” [Section 2(s)] are: As previously mentioned. the PWDV Act gives women the right to live in shared household looking at the fact that most of the times women are victimized by throwing them out of their homes. Restrain the respondent from alienating/disposing off/ encumbering the shared household or from renouncing his rights in the shared household (except with the leave of the court). Includes such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the respondent is a member.

[Following Procedure for Counseling: Rule 14]. Stage III: Proceedings in Court. An application asking for discharge only by woman. (iii)Discharge of the Order [Section 25(1)]. Ex Parte Order or Notice would be served (within 3 days). (ii) Charges under Section 498A IPC can also be framed by the Magistrate in addition to the charges under this Act.before Sessions Court within 30 days (Section 29). Evidence would be observed and examined & arguments would take place. PO will record it as DIR & forward it to Magistrate. the Final Order would be passed (within 60 days). From Final Order: (i) There could be an Appeal by either party . (iv) With the Service Provider. Aggrieved Person to lodge complaint: (i) Directly with the Magistrate. (iii)Offences are non-bailable and cognizable.000/-. Stage IV: Post-Order Proceedings. (ii) Directly with the Police. After this is done. (v) Alteration/Modification/Revocation of Order [Section 25(2)]. (vi) Either party can ask for alteration / modification / revocation of orders. (iii)With the Protection Officer. This can be done even if POs have not been appointed. Hence. (vii) This order must be in writing & on satisfaction of Magistrate that there is a change in circumstances Consequences of the Breach of Protection Order (Section 31) (i) Breach of a Protection Order passed is deemed to be a punishable offence. (ii) To the Police Stage II: Complaint. Only after this procedure. Police will record it as DIR & forward it to PO & Magistrate. Parties would appear before court. an aggrieved person can continue to use the existing provisions of law (offences under IPC& other laws). (iv) Protection order to continue till its discharge. (iv) Punishment may extend to one year imprisonment and /or a maximum fine of Rs 20. Application should be forwarded by woman or any other person on her behalf (for relief u/Section12). Will record it as DIR & forward it to PO &Magistrate. (ii) Application for Discharge/Alteration (Section 25). A woman may apply for a discharge if she has settled her case. It has been said in the PWDV Act that the Act can be used in Addition to the other existing laws: (i) PWDVA is in addition to existing laws (Section 36). (ii) An aggrieved person has the right to file a complaint simultaneously under Section 498A IPC (Section 5). Then the Interim Order would be passed. .

(iii)Must be sensitive to needs of the woman & ability to coordinate with court also important. safe shelter & information on service providers is provided to the woman. The role of Protection Officer (Section 8) is as follows: (i) The PO is under the control and supervision of the Court. (ii) 3 years of experience in social sector. or NGOs – preference to be given to women. necessary). (ii) Conduct enquiry on assets. (iv) Training & sensitization of POs essential. (iii) Tenure of PO to be a minimum of 3 years. They are to be appointed in the following order: (i) Full time POs to be appointed. (ii) Number of POs to be appointed to depend on size. maintenance. to provide necessary office assistance (infrastructure & support staff) Protection Officers are a special feature of the PWDV Act. (vii) PO can be penalized for failing/refusing to discharge his/her duty (previous sanction of State govt. (iv) An application can be filed in a pending proceeding for a residence order according to the Rules of the court in which the case is pending. and is responsible to the court for cases of domestic violence. (iii)Restore possession of personal effects & shared household to aggrieved woman & assist her in regaining custody of children. E. petition for divorce. (iv) Assist the court in enforcement of orders passed. Without direction of Court (Rules 8 & 9): . (iii)Reliefs under PWDVA can be asked for in other legal proceedings (Section 26). (iv) To ensure the aggrieved woman is provided legal aid. 10) – (i) Conduct home visit & make enquiry before grant of ex-parte interim order. Mechanisms for Implementation of the Appointment of Protection Officer (PO) under Rule 3: (i) To be appointed by state govt.g. Section 498A IPC petitions. from the Govt. PO appointed by State government. (iii)To make a Domestic Incident Report (DIR) or application for protection order on behalf of the woman. The role of Protection Officer (Under the Rules) is as follows: With direction of Court (rule no. (iv) State govt. or court. population & accessibility. bank accounts or other documents. (vi) To ensure that orders for monetary relief are complied with. (ii) To assist the court in the discharge of its functions. (v) To ensure medical services. (v) To assist in any other duty assigned by state govt.

(iii)Right to free legal aid. (These are generally NGOs working for women’s rights . Service Provider or Magistrate to inform the Aggrieved Person of her Rights on receipt of Complaint as per (Section 5). Police required to record a DIR on lodging of complaint. (iv) Emergency action: If PO receives information of case of DV through email/telephone etc. under Companies Act/Societies Registration Act. Duties of Registered Shelter Homes. they must record a DIR (also under PWDVA).SPs) (ii) To record the Domestic Incident Report & forward it to Magistrate. Once a complaint of domestic violence is received by Police. The Police should continue to play their role under existing laws & take appropriate action (investigation. without any delay. Protection Officer. (iv) To ensure that the aggrieved person is provided shelter in a shelter home. as Service Providers. (iii)To invite applications fm SPs.) for cognizable offences under IPC – offences like grievous hurt. shall reach place of occurrence with Police immediately & record a DIR & present it to Magistrate for appropriate order. Medical Facilities (Sections 6 – 7): . (ii) Availability of services of the Service Providers and Protection Officers. rape. The following basic information should be given to the aggrieved person: (i) Right to make an application for relief under this Act. DIR to be forwarded to PO & Magistrate. They will have to register with State govt. maintain records of support services & all documents related to the matter. Counselors. Section 498A used in domestic violence cases (Section 36). The role of the Police (PWDVA & Existing Laws) is as follows: • Role under PWDVA : (i) Complaint of DV can be lodged directly with Police. (iii)To get the person aggrieved medically examined. (ii) Police to assist in enforcing court orders.. if she so requires. regd. dowry death. It needs to be noted that a service provider is protected for all actions done in good faith in exercise of the powers under this Act towards the prevention of commission of domestic violence as per as [Section 10(3)]. (iv) Right to file a complaint under Section 498A IPC. arrest etc. (ii) To prepare a safety plan (Form V of the Rules). It is a duty of the Police Officer. The role of Service Providers (Section 10) is as follows: (i) Service Providers are org. (i) To inform aggrieved woman of her rights.

Preferably a woman. (iv) Ensure that Protocols for functionaries (including courts) are prepared & put in place. officers. . Magistrate may direct the parties. Magistrate may also secure assistance of Welfare Expert (preferably a woman) in discharge of her functions. (ii) To give periodic sensitization & awareness training to all functionaries (govt. The rules regarding Counseling & Assistance of Welfare Expert are laid down as follows: • Appointment of counselor (Rule 13) : a. (i) Shelter homes & Medical facilities to register with the State govt. (iii)The perpetrator of violence will not be allowed to justify his acts of violence at the stage of counseling. [Rule 14(5)] (iv) The respondent requires to furnish undertaking before counseling proceeding begins that he will refrain from causing further domestic violence & in appropriate cases. refrain from all communication with the woman [Rule 14(6)]. • Under Section 15. under the Act. police & the judiciary). (ii) Shelter homes shall be bound to provide the woman with shelter if approached by the woman or the PO. (v) State govts to appoint POs & register SPs under the Act. at any stage of proceedings. websites. (iii)Effective coordination between services provided by all ministries & departments concerned & conduct periodic review. singly or jointly to undergo counseling. A person interested/connected with the case or parties & any legal practitioner who has appeared for respondent in the case or any connected proceeding. c. The counseling rules under PWDVA (Section 14 & Rule 14) are as follows: (i) The primary objective of counseling under the Act is to end DV & to ensure the victim is in a position to take an informed decision. b. (ii) Under Section 14. Counselor to be a member of a service provider. To be appointed from list of available counselors forwarded to Magistrate by PO. (vi) Budgetary allocations are the responsibility of state government. (iii)Medical facilities shall be bound to provide medical aid if approached by the woman or the PO. not to be appointed as Counselor. The duties of Government (Central & States) are as follows: (i) To ensure that the Act is given wide publicity through public media at regular intervals. List of SPs must be given to POs & published in newspapers & govt.

Equally. • Counselor will records terms of settlement of dispute. and economic and act . It is not necessary to approach PO first or to record a DIR before filing an application in court. (v) Court shall continue with proceedings under the Act. (vi) Settlement of matter shall only be attempted on request by aggrieved person Procedure for Counseling: (i) Parties directed to undergo counseling by Magistrate – Counselor appointed. (ii) Putting an immediate end to violence must be the chief consideration of the judge (grant of interim relief. • Court will satisfy itself that terms of settlement arrived at with consent of parties. following report by Counselor. violence can be psychological. ex parte order in emergency situations. (ii) Respondent to furnish undertaking & the objective of counseling under the Act be complied with by counselor & parties. the state has recognized that violence is not only physical and/or sexual. ensure endorsement by both parties and submit to court for passing of an order. CRITICISMS THE PROTECTION OF OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT. Nonetheless. verbal.) (iii)Judge must keep in mind the objective behind the law – sensitization & training of judges essential. The functions of the Judiciary are laid down as follows: (i) Application for relief (Section 12) can be filed directly before court. (vi) Court to follow criminal procedure (CrPC). speed disposal of application etc. When a criticism of the Act is thought of the first thing that strikes is that the rules laid on the basis of which someone is going to be prosecuted are not definite. the Act has been widely criticized. 2005 The PWDVA has no doubt revolutionized the approach of Indian women towards attaining justice. for the first time in the history of legal ramifications directly linked to women. (iv) Responsibility to supervise & issue appropriate directions to PO. Ensure that the POs fulfill their duties. But can also formulate its own procedure (Section 28) – Important where applications filed in pending litigation (the procedure of the court in which matter is pending to be used). (iv) Non-resolution of dispute through Counseling. (v) Counselor's efforts shall focus on remedial and redressal measures. With the passage of the Domestic Violence Act. (v) Duty to inform the woman of her rights under the PWDVA (Section 5). (iii)Resolution of dispute through settlement (only if the woman desires).

This act is an addressal mechanism to a problem that exists. forcing a woman to quit her job. the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. With this in mind. This view also recognizes and accepts that women are the weaker sex . only strengthens the stereotypes by identifying women as the weaker section which in turn.physically. emotional violence spans insults.physical. any sexual act with minors. preventing a woman from meeting someone etc. Does the State have the necessary funding to support this programme? Or does the state have the necessary willingness needed for the same or is the new law an apparently sweet pill designed to satisfy some sections of women in the country? . jibes for not having a male child. Sexual violence covers offences such as forced sex. Importantly. but a little pause for thought is also warranted. those who are professionally more successful than their husbands or male partners are often forced to tone down their achievements for fear that the relationship might either weaken or break because patriarchy has designed men to have egos that could burst with women partners who are more successful. Moreover. or risk being booked under sundry sections of the Indian Penal Code. shoving. live in partner or child. if the woman ever needs 'protection' from the man she is living with. forcing marriage against a woman's will. 2005. All of this is being welcomed widely by women's groups. victimizes women in a way. the framework of the new law calls for the appointment of protection officers. preventing a woman from taking a job. are vulnerable to all kinds of violence in their relationships with men. This needs facilities to train existing personnel. not paying rent. it forgets that not all domestic violence is perpetrated by men against women. no woman can file a complaint against another woman or women under this Act. Physical violence includes beating. The very fact that protection is the principal focus of the Act for women within marriage or out-of- marriage relationships only reinforces the view that women. 'Protection' is a two-edged weapon. economic violence includes denial of money. The rules. food.as warning signs of future physical violence.20. This is already an unwarranted stereotype that handicaps many women. forced exposure to pornographic material. can land him in jail for one year or cost him up to Rs. a large amount of funds flowing into the legal and judicial channels of the State. sexual. has laid down stringent rules to prosecute men who harass.. Anything remotely resembling abuse by a man of his wife. service providers and counselors. not allowing her to use her partner's salary. and inflicting pain. These can be called as the hidden notions behind the Act which if given a thought. and targets only the male partner as the perpetrator of violence. would it not be simpler for her just to terminate the relationship? Will her male partner take kindly to her later if she files a complaint against him under whatever ground? The law is also short-sighted in a different sense. by and large. verbal/emotional and economic. notified under the PWDVA. room for appointing new personnel and thus. cloth and medicines. 000 in fines. and forcing her out. pushing. Besides. emotionally and sexually. threat of suicide. classify domestic violence under four categories . beat or insult women at home.

So. between implementable and un-implementable laws. Lack of resources. To many women. Nonetheless. because once they put their husbands behind bars. The state now owns a responsibility that if reported it is responsibility of the state to address the incidence rather than dismissing it as a private matter. For instance. Most women are not even aware of their rights and. . physically or even sexually. the positive part of the Act should not be missed. ………………………………………………………………. Many lawyers have realized the inherent defects of the law and have opined that this Act will place all man-woman relationships within and without marriage at risk. Moreover. women are frequently too preoccupied with their daily struggles to invest much hope in abstract ideals or identify with a complex new law that would be difficult to implement and execute in practical life.are foreign to their culture. Instead. This is what scares many women from approaching the police or the courts for protection. just as we have failed to create a law. Most women are not prepared for that. knowing fully well that this is economic violence. After 35 years of marriage and three grown-up children. she is certain that if she approaches any magistrate with this complaint. the whole matter has been put under the jurisdiction of criminal laws. Some opine that another basic problem with the present laws dealing with domestic discord and marital abuse is that instead of providing effective remedies through civil laws. they prefer to approach organizations that can mediate on their behalf and work out a better solution for them. they often don't place great stock in what human rights can do to help them. It challenges the attitude that society has that it domestic violence is a private matter between husband and wife. they know then that they are in a fight to the finish. The PWDVA will be closely watched by many and it is apparent that there are many challenges. when they are.leave alone women's human rights . and challenge deeply held notions of individual and community identity.enforcement machinery capable of providing genuine recourse to all those whose rights have been violated. This Act has brought change to the nature of legal provisions for dealing with domestic violence. how can this new Act help her in such kind of a situation? The answer is the existing Act cannot do much about it. One of the tragedies of independent India is that we have not yet learnt to distinguish between reasonable and unreasonable laws. how can a woman go to the magistrate and file a complaint against her husband who does not provide her with medical help at all and does not give her the money to buy medicines herself when he has been a good husband in other ways? He has never abused her verbally. lack of political will and entrenched systems of patriarchy challenge the human rights movement's ability to protect the rights of women. human rights . her husband may suffer from a heart attack. with very draconian provisions to make their implementation stringent.

Popli (Faculty Supervisor) . ASSIGNMENT Submitted to: Prof. K. U.

Submitted by: Nabajit Malakar Class: MSW(final) Department of Social Work Jamia Millia Islamia .