The domestic violence act hereinafter referred as dv act which was incorporated in the year 2005, The main purpose of this act is to prevent woman only woman from domestic violence, from the bare reading of the definition of the act we can see that the term “aggrieved person” includes only women, means only the men can be prosecuted not the woman, In the 21st century we treat women at par with men and there have been many incidences where a women are involved in insult, humiliation, verbal and emotional abuse to men. It is not a rare possibility that women are indulging in domestic violence against men but this is a reality, our constitution guarantees equality, means men and women must be equally treated, then why in dv act there are provisions for women only and not for men, why women are protected and why there is presumption that men is the only gender which can do cruelty, domestic violence on women, why not vice-versa.
The dv act has given an undue advantage to the women and it is the most lethal weapon which women can use against men to extort, exploit, and threaten men community just like terrorism. The dv act has provisions like right to residence regardless of legal right on the property, maintenance. The provision in law makes the law easily vulnerable to misuse. which is a fact statistics have shown that only 2% of all the cases have resulted in conviction and 98% of the cases are deemed to be fake and there is no provision in dv act if a fake case is lodged then there is no provision for punishment for the women. For the name of protection of women the prosecution of innocent men is against the rule of law, A women can misuse the law very easily like for example A man can be booked under the DV act if she feels that she has been insulted. Insult is a relative term, which is totally left to her discretion. Interestingly, if she insults and abuses him verbally or even physically, he does not have any legal recourse in this law, even the minor differences in matrimonial ties could invoke the provisions of DV act, moreover the procedure of law is governed by CRPC that means a man even making a very light insult to a women is treated like a criminal. if the case is false the reputation of man and his family is tainted and there are no steps or legal protection available to men to protect his reputation . In other words this law treats men like sitting ducks.
For taking easy divorce and maintenance the DV act is the first weapon used by the women even if she is not subjected to any such type of domestic violence, even if the matter is sub-judice the men are obliged to pay maintenance to women, this means that punishment for men start as soon as false complaint is lodged, which is against the principles of natural justice where there is presumption of innocence.
The fact is DV act has failed to attend the problems faced by women and men on subject of domestic violence, the law is often misused then to be used. The need of the society is to make more gender neutral laws which treat men and women equally in the cases of domestic violence and not to induce fear in the minds of innocent people like most of the men and give an extortion tool to the other gender. The DV act is gender biased on the face of it, The DV act needs to be amended with more gender neutral provisions to prevent its misuse and to achieve gender equality and fair justice.
“An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.” Mahatma Gandhi
By: Nitish Banka