Female relatives also liable under Domestic Violence Act: Supreme Court
Published: Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011, 20:16 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
Female relatives of a husband can also be booked under the Domestic Violence Act if a complaint is lodged by the wife, the Supreme Court has ruled.
A bench of justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph in a judgement set aside the concurrent orders of a sessions court and the Bombay High Court that female relatives of the husband cannot be booked under the Act as the legislation was meant only against the husband or any other male member.
"No restrictive meaning has been given to the expression 'relative' nor has the said expression been specifically defined in the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, to make it specific to males only."
"In such circumstances, it is clear that the legislature never intended to exclude female relatives of the husband or male partner from the ambit of a complaint that can be made under the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005," Justice Kabir said writing the judgement.
The apex court passed the ruling while upholding an appeal filed by Sandhya Manoj Wankhade, the aggrieved wife, challenging the findings of the lower courts which besides precluding female members from being booked for the alleged offence, also asked her to vacate the matrimonial house in Amravati district in Maharashtra since it was registered in the name of her mother-in-law Ramabai.
The wife had filed the complaint against husband Manoj Bhimrao Wankhade, widowed mother-in-law Ramabai and a sister-in-law under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.