How Laws in India can Help to Fight Against Domestic Violence ?
What is Domestic Violence ?
Domestic violence is in simple terms abuse which has been induced on some individual. It can be mentally, physically, sexually, emotionally etc. This is at times very common in marriages and relationships. In India, domestic violence is the result of issues related to dowry, patriarchy and joint families. The domestic violence in the legal field is the violence which happens between intimate partners in the form of dating violence, abuse etc. this happens inside the victim’s close circle.
Domestic Violence is considered as the most dangerous and important public issue that has to be addressed soon. Adv. Bindu Dubey is one of the finest domestic violence lawyer in Navi Mumbai who deals with spouses who want divorce and domestic violence is a defense for the divorce cases.
The Domestic Violence Act of 2005 defines domestic violence and places the characteristics which constitutes a domestic violence in Section 3. It states that any activity which induces unnecessary threat and fear to life in the form of physical or mental abuse. It can be of sexual, verbal, economical or emotional abuse. This section also mentions that anything which injures the victim because of harassment or bullying is domestic violence, this will be done for forcing the victim to fulfil the illegal duty of dowry or other property related issues. Domestic violence means the inducing of harm on anyone either mentally or physically or both.
In the current Indian legal system, the cases of domestic violence can be filed against any adult male person who is a relationship with the victim and also against anyone who are in relation to the accused who i.e., the mother – in – law; father – in – law etc.
There are different types of Domestic abuses in India. It ranges from very common physical abuse to the modern-day technological abuse.
PHYSICAL ABUSE -> this is the bodily harm of the victim by the abuser violently i.e., slapping, beating, biting etc. This is also when the abuser forces the victim to consume drugs or alcohol and also if the abuser refuses to give any medical treatment to victim during time of need.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE ->This is when the abuser reduces the victim’s self esteem by putting them down always. The abuser or offender will constantly humiliate or insult the victim. It is also when the abuser threatens, belittles or induces fear in the mind of the victim.
SEXUAL ABUSE -> This is a very serious case of abuse when the abuser without the consent of the victim tries to forcibly have physical contact with them. It will be In the form of physical violence which results in sexual offence, martial rape, attacking any body parts sexually.
ECONOMICAL ABUSE -> This is when the offender or abuser refuses to support the victim financially or tries to put the victim in a very financially hard position.
TECHNOLOGICAL ABUSE -> This is when the abuser threatens the victim by utilizing technology. This is in the form of cyber – crime.
The domestic violence and Dowry deaths go hand in hand in India. Various laws have been legislated to prevent, control and stop this. They are as follows:
I. THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT OF 2005:
This Act has been discussed and legislated by the parliament of India to help women who are facing domestic violence. It includes areas of physical, emotional, sexual and economic abuse and they have all been defined clearly in the Act. This Act acts like a security for women in the family. This Act not only provides laws for women but also for men. On the whole this law makes sure that women are not being illegally forced out of their homes. It ensures security and safety for women.
II. PROVISION UNDER INDIAN PENAL CODE:
Section 498 (A) of the Indian Penal Code of 1860 mentions the fact that any harassment done by anyone from the husband’s family side or the husband for dowry will be considered as a crime and the offender will be punished accordingly. This criminal law is applicable for the male spouse and his family members who ill treat the women. The abuse in this can be or physical or mental. Any behavior from the husband which makes the wife suicidal or risk in life will also be prosecuted under this section.
III. THE DOWRY PROHIBITON ACT OF 1961:
The giving and accepting of dowry are considered as crime under the Indian Law. This has been banned as according to the laws in the dowry prohibition Act of 1961. The punishment for this includes prison time of six months or fine of five – thousand rupees.
Many a times these domestic violence cases get dismissed due to various reasons, it can be because that there was lack of evidences which does not support the story or facts of the victim and the court will dismiss such cases. If the accuser/victim has history of falsely filing cases against people to gain some advantages, then the court will dismiss such cases. Another instance where these cases can be dismissed is when the accuser does not comply to the laws and does not provide any cooperation to the investigation. Domestic abuse cases also have their own defenses. They include proving that the accuser is lying or the concept of self – defense.
The cases with respect to domestic violence is increasing everyday especially with the lockdown due to COVID – 19 has show a major increase in the domestic violence cases. The laws which try to control and prevent the domestic violence are perfect in paper with their definitions and penalties but in reality, it is different with the physical court cases as attorneys tend to find loopholes to save their clients. Both men and women are victims of domestic violence cases in India. Adv. Bindu Dubey will analyze the facts and issues of the case and will suggest appropriate means and measures to win the case against the offender.