Against whom can a complaint be lodged?
- The husband or male partner who has been in a domestic relationship with the victim
- Any relatives of the husband or the male partner.
- Any male or female relatives of the male partner.
Authorities under the Act
- Protection officer- Protection officer are appointed by the state in each district. These officers are under the jurisdiction of the court and have been assigned specific duties of providing legal and medical aid, safe shelter and to assist the court.
- Service providers- any registerd voluntary association providing legal, medical financial or other services.
- Magistrate - a court of First Class Magistrate or Metropolitan Magistrate have the jurisdiction where a victim can initiate a proceeding against the respondent.
What to do when faced with an incidence of domestic violence?
- A victim of domestic violence can register DIR (Domestic Incident Report) by approaching the 'protection officer' or the 'service provider'.
- One can move to domestic violence shelter constituted under this special act.
- A victim can also approach the police or a magistrate directly through a family law advocate in India .
- Call 1091 (women emergency number) or 100 and report the abuse.
What provisions for relief does the act provide?
A magistrate or a judge can issue different kinds of order -
- Protection order - an order to keep the abuser away from the aggrieved person
- Residency orders - restraining the abuser or his relatives from entering the place where the aggrieved person lives. Restraining the respondent from alienating or encumbering the house where the victim lives
- Monetary relief- the magistrate may direct the aggressor to pay monetary relief to meet expenses of the aggrieved person.
- compensation order- the court or magistrate may direct the respondent to pay compensation to the aggrieved person for injuries including mental torture and emotional distress.
Though the Act does have a few defects, and the implementation leaves a lot to be desired; the policy by itself seems to be quite practical. Yes, it important to understand that . Yes, it is important to implement the Act better and keep the Government accountable for why they have not instituted better reformation measures with regard to the same. However, it is also crucial to recognize that during the time of the Act (and even now), it was extremely vital to initiate a law that provided ease of access to justice to women. This is because of the dowry deaths on a high and domestic and sexual violence against women being rampant. The Act aimed at providing a simplified procedure to women who face domestic violence access to civil and quasi-criminal remedies, and it has succeeded in doing so, to a large extent.
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