Domestic violence is an upcoming topic it has not only the impact on the victim but also on the family, friends and the social network of both the abuser as well as the violated. Speaking of the family the children below the age of 5 or above the age of 5 who witness such series of events are also traumatised for life and can have a difficult upbringing it is called emotional damage.
Although there are some laws in India that can help the victim get justice. To understand what is Domestic violence Act 2005 do we should first know what Domestic Violence is exactly.
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ?
Domestic violence could mean different things but in accordance to law or in a lay man language domestic violence is use of excessive force by an adult on a weaker adult keeping in mind that the adults are in a relationship (generally marriage) and one adult is trying to make the other adult submit by using force. This does not mean that the force or pressure is only of external force the pressure could also be exerted psychologically abuse, sexual assault, or social abuse ,all these are various forms of domestic violence. Domestic violence is not simply a word to word argument but it something when a person tries to overpower the other spouse of partner by the use of force or emotional method. It is generally noted that 75% of the time the domestic violence is done by the Husband on the wife or by the mother- in- law of the wife. In short words the wife should not suffer for a long time of such abuse if such abuses are done then the wife must take an action and reach the court to get the remedy.
REASON FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
After understanding what is Domestic Violence the next question that comes to our minds is what leads to domestic violence? The domestic violence is done basically by a male spouse on his partner. Ever since ancient times the women are considered weak by the male dominated society, there is this very absurd misconception in the Indian society that the women are only good for house hold chores and does not know anything about politics or medicine or should not be educated. Even now when we have evolved from a superstitious society as well as become a much better educated society the male dominant society always try to suppress the female dominant society. The male think that by battering their wives they are exercising their right over them and indirectly telling them to keep in mind their place. It could also be done due to low dowry given by the parents of the wife and the Mother-in-Law or Father- in – Law or both could put a mental pressure on their Daughter-in- Law for such things. In a study conducted by INFH S conducted in 2005- 06 carried out in 29 states has found that a substantial proportion of married women have been physically or sexually abused by their husband at some time in their lives. The survey indicated that, nationwide, 37.2% of women “experienced violence” after marriage. Bihar was found to be the most violent, with the abuse rate against married women being as high as 59%. Strangely, 63% of these incidents were reported from urban families rather than the state's most backward villages. It was followed by Madhya Pradesh (45.8%), Rajasthan (46.3%), Manipur (43.9%), Uttar Pradesh (42.4%), Tamil Nadu (41.9%) and West Bengal (40.3%) . According to NCRB compared the records from 2000 which was 125 and in the survey of 2005-06 it shot up to 160 which a drastic change. In 2019 the cases were 1.26 lakh cases of violation of women out of which 30% of the cases were of domestic violence.
The NCW recorded an increase of 2.5 times in reports of domestic violence since the nationwide lockdown in the month of September.
The NLSA was provided in a total of 2,878 cases of domestic violence in the lockdown period of April to June. After learning and keeping the facts and figures in mind the main question that comes to our mind is this
What is the Law doing to protect the women?
As stated above the figures and facts we can easily estimate that there are a lot of cases there which are registered but on top of that so many cases that goes unregistered so what has the law done to help these poor women. There are basically 3 laws that deal with these types of problems they are as follows:-
Section 498A of IPC
The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
Let us discuss these in elaboration:
Section 498 A of IPC : Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty — Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, 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. In this the person liable under this section as mentioned above is entitled to get punishment in the form of imprisonment and is liable to fine. It deals with certain things in terms of cruelty which is to be read as:
1. Any wilful conduct which is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health of the woman, or
2. Harassment of the women with a view of coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or any valuable security or is on account of her failure by her on any person related to her to meet any demands.
The above are the explanation and the bare language mentioned in our penal law but to strengthen my point i would like to mention a case of Supreme Court Sushil Kumar v. Union of India held that the object of section 498- A of the IPC is to get to the root of dowry menace and its unleashing will lead to a legal terrorism.
Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
Despite the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and amendment in it in 1987 providing for a more stringent punishment, the menace of dowry demands and dowry deaths persists unabated. As I have mentioned above some of these problems exists due to the pressure from the paternal house of the husband that she hasn’t brought enough of dowry, taunts at every mistake, taunts if asked to go to the parental home (maika) this all builds a tremendous pressure on the women and could lead to a nervous breakdown so to avoid that the courts have made some law and Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 is one of the such law.
It is not a hidden that this social evil consumed the lives of many poor and innocent women that is the reason that this act came into force but as we all know that the law changes with the society so due to that there was a need for amendment in the Act itself and it did happened in the year of 1983 in the IPC that whenever the following things will be done (dowry death or dowry related cruelty etc.) against a women she could ask for help from the law itself and according to law the relatives of the husband or husband who attempts to do it or are caught doing it could be severely punished whenever the proof of such activities are shown, in short evidence is needed.
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
India is a country of Patriarchal origin and the need of this law was much needed so in the year 2005 parliament waived a green flag to the act and it came into force on 26th day of October 2006. The section 3 of this act deals with the definition part of the Act, which mentions the physical, verbal, emotional & sexual abuse towards the wife or Daughter-in-Law as mentioned below.
“Any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in case it:
harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or
harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person to coerce her or any other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security; or
has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or
Otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person.”
Prior to this law these kinds of matters were to be dealt with only the laws at hand (IPC, Dowry prohibition Act,1961) which are given above but after the entering of the act the women had one other law to turn to in case of such cruelty which the women have to face. Women of our country are our responsibility to take care of and also to maintain we must respect them and should protect them from such evil intents and for that the laws are constantly being scrutinised and are being amended to make the punishments as well as law more stringent and without any loop holes. We can stop this heinous crime by seeing our other partner equally and not as a source of material things, we must respect her because she is the one who takes care of home her workplace as well as the members living in it so we should appreciate her efforts rather than batter her and face the consequences.
WRITTEN BY: MAYANK SHARMA