Woman can invoke domestic violence act even after divorce: SC

The SC declined to interfere with a judgement stating that a woman, whose marriage stood dissolved before the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act came into force, can also seek redressal of her complaints under the same law.

The Supreme Court has said a woman can invoke the Domestic Violence Act for brutality and sufferings caused to her, even for a period before the existence of social welfare legislation.

The top court declined to interfere with a judgement stating that a woman, whose marriage stood dissolved before the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act came into force, can also seek redressal of her complaints under the same law.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, R Banumathi and Navin Sinha rejected arguments by advocate Dushyant Parashar on behalf of petitioner Mohammad Talib Ali that the Act, which came into being on October 26, 2006, cannot be applied with retrospective effect. The counsel claimed the issue pertaining to husband-wife relations which normally comes to end only on a bitter note will further become worse if the law will be given retrospective effect.

However, the opposite side, representing the ex-wife, contended that the special law does not distinguish between a wife and divorced wife and covers the act of violence committed by husband even prior to coming into force of the Act and it can be applied retrospectively.

The petitioner challenged the Rajasthan High Court's order that held that the aggrieved person, who had been in a domestic relationship at any point of time even prior to coming into force of the Act and was subjected to domestic violence, is entitled to invoke the remedial measures provided for under the Act.

A woman who started living separately on account of some act, omission or commission by husband cannot be picked up for a different treatment being given vis-a-vis a woman who continued to live with the respondent in a domestic relationship in a shared household even after coming into force of the Act, the High Court has said.

The top court junked the special leave petition against the October 30, 2013 judgement, saying in the fact of the case, it was not inclined to interfere with the verdict.

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Woman can invoke domestic violence act even after divorce: SC

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