Married or not, Domestic Violence Act binding: HC

In a significant ruling, Kerala High Court has held that a woman is entitled to get protection under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act even if she were in a live-in relationship.

“What was intended under Section 2 (a) of the act was a relationship of the same nature as marriage and nothing more,” Justice K Harilal said in his order on Tuesday while dismissing a petition filed by a man hailing from Alapuzha district. The petitioner’s contention was that the complainant was not his wife as per Section 2 (f) of the act and that there was no domestic relationship between them.

According to Justice Harilal, “The couple must have lived together akin to spouses. That alone is sufficient. The legislature’s intent for the act itself is to give protection to a woman who lives with her husband in the nature of a marriage even without a legal marriage.”

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