The Delhi High Court has ruled that, based on initial evidence, the domestic violence law, meant to protect married women from cruelty, does not apply to male members of a family, specifically the husband. The court considered the definition in Section 2(a) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (DV) Act, which states that an “aggrieved person” is a woman who has been in a domestic relationship with the respondent and claims to have experienced domestic violence from them. The court ordered a notice to be sent to the husband in response to the woman’s plea to cancel the complaint against her.
The proceedings initiated against the woman by her husband under the Domestic Violence (DV) Act were temporarily halted by Justice Jasmeet Singh, who was hearing her petition to have the complaint filed against her in a magisterial court quashed. The high court also issued a notice to the husband in response to the woman’s plea in its January 23 order.
The woman’s lawyer argued that the husband’s initiation of proceedings under the DV Act goes against the essence of the law and Section 2(a) of the Act, which specifies that only women are considered “aggrieved persons.” The lawyer also stated that the protection offered by the Act is not available to male members, especially the husband.
“In the present case, the respondent, that is, the husband of the petitioner (woman) has initiated proceedings under Section 12 of the DV Act. Prima facie it seems in view of Section 2(a), the protection of the Act is not available to a male member of the family and more particularly the husband.”
“For the aforesaid reasons, the proceedings in complaint case. pending before the metropolitan magistrate, Karkardooma Court, Delhi, shall remain stayed till the next date of hearing,” the high court said while listing the matter for further hearing on February 14.