D.V.Act Can Be Used By Men Against Women: Govt

ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

This was reported in  "Times of India,  dated 16 May'2010, Mumbai edition, page 11".
(read article, as reproduced below)


D.V.Act Can Be Used By Men Against Women: Govt


Domestic violence act not gender-specific

New Delhi: The UPA government says the Domestic Violence Act enacted with a view to protect women can also be used to prosecute women.


   Backing the recent decision of some courts in Delhi to invoke the civil law against women, a women and child development ministry’s affidavit in the Delhi high court says that “the main purpose of the act is to protect women from domestic violence but not solely protect them from males... right of the victim against domestic violence can’t be guided by the gender of the perpetrator.’’


   The Centre’s stand came in response to a petition by a widow questioning the invocation of the act against women by a few courts in the capital. Varsha Kapoor through her lawyer Arvind Jain had urged the court to strike down a section in the act that allowed courts to sanction prosecution of women.


   Justifying the stand of the government, the affidavit said, “The main purpose of society and lawmaker is to provide certain protection to women so that they can live with honour... the legislature never wanted to exempt women from prosecution... if any crime is committed by any woman in that case, she is liable to be prosecuted irrespective of the gender.’’


   In her petition, Kapoor, who has been booked under the Domestic Violence Act on the complaint filed by her estranged daughter-in-law, has also challenged a lower court’s order against her.


   “The DV Act is a benevolent piece of legislation aimed to provide effective protection of rights of women under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any kind within the family,’’ the petition argued, pointing out that such a law can’t be allowed to be misused against women. Saying the provision has generated a lot of confusion due to the conflicting verdicts of several high courts, Jain argued that the high court needs to clarify the law so that the same can be applied by lower courts in the capital. “The above stated conflicting, confusing, absurd and unconstitutional provisions have created such a mess and chaos that interests of justice/ends of justice are not available to the petitioner to rescue her basic dignity and honour,’’ the petition said. The high court will now consider the petition when it comes up for hearing later this month.


Thank you Hemant, for the information.


I totally agree with the view point of the Govt. of India.  Having said so, I mention that the Government is a litigant like you and me and is not empowered to adjudicate the statute passed by the Parliament and the ultimate power lies in the court of law to pronounce what is right and what is wrong.


My interpretation to the said news is different as it says that the main purpose of the act is to provide certain protection to the women. So the correct interpretation of the affidavit is that the women are not exempted under the DV Act but it certainly doesn't mean that DV can be used by men against women. It says that DV act can be used by women against women. Till now it was interpretated by the courts that women can't be respondent in DV Act. Moreover the bombay HC has gone saying that when DV is filed by daughter-in-law, women can be respondents but when it is filed by mother-in-law, women can't be respondent. Though this interpretation is violative of Article 14 and 15 of constitution of india.

Kindly correct me if my interpretation is wrong.


Certainly, the law does not differentiate the gender - it speaks only of the justice oriented approach in truely and correctly interpretting the statute. But it is seen that the statute is taken in the way, it is named -like Domestic violance Act- apprantely giving view to the people and law interpretters that it works only for the women and not against the women. Thanks for posting this view .

cant a MIL use it against her DIL?


mr. legal fighter,

you are absolutely right.

your's interpretion is perfect .

mr hemant thanks for the information.


can a husband file dv against wife

Middle Executive

The report doesnot say that it can be used by men too. Till date we knew that women cannot be prosecuted through DV act. But this report I think clarifies that it can be done.
So according to me it is an alarm for the women members of the family, that if a "Bahu" makes a complaint in their name under DV act, they will have to bear the pain too.
Legal Consultant / Solicitor

Any Mother in Law can use against her Daughter in Law provided both must be in same dwelling house




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