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Published : September 16, 2014 | Author : URMILA BHARDWAJ
Category : family law | Total Views : 27447 | Rating :

  
URMILA BHARDWAJ
URMILA BHARDWAJ RESEARCH SCHOLAR AT KURUKSHETRA UNIVERSITY KURUKSHETRA.
 

Domestic Violence Against Women; Causes And Cure

Good Women
like Jewels Gems and Rubies
Rare and Distinguished and Unique
Virtuous Full Of The Spirit women
Kind Loving and Sweet.
Powerful Serving Women
Discerning Compassionate and Pure
Sincere Holy Women
Biblical and Crystal Clear
Godly Dedicated Women
Committed Faithful and True
Praying, Praising, Fasting Women
Denying themselves too.
Obedient Wise Women
Who know the Voice of the Lord
Quiet Teachable Women
Who are United in One Accord.
Submissive, Honorable, Reverent Women
Who teach Daughters how to pray
Sensitive, Spirit-led Women
Who follow in God's Way
A Virtuous Women who can Find?
Where does this queen Reside
Virtuous Women are Made
and it starts from the Inside.- Debbie Bennett

Domestic violence against the woman is an old age phenomenon. Women were always considered vulnerable and in a position to be exploited. Violence has long been accepted as something that happened to women. Family which was perceived as an arena of love, affection, gentleness and center of solidarity and warmth has now become a center of exploitation, and violence ranging from slapping, hitting, homicidal assault by one member of the family on the other the two husband and in-laws harassment form dowry or for another reason, dowry deaths, wife bettering, female child abuse and abuse of elderly female in a family are also included in domestic violence. Domestic Violence is not person specific; its victim can be children, woman, aged, disabled or any other vulnerable group. However, due to the traditional patriarchal system, emotional and economic dependence and inherent biological weakness term out to be the most potent. Among the many manifestations of the violation, the fundamental rights of women, domestic violence is one of the most vicious circle. It takes place behind the closed doors, the very door which are meant to protect women from the hazards of the outside world. It is nothing short of a form of a custodial violence and must be so recognized. Domestic violence must come out of the closet and be addressed.

Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, family violence, and intimate partner violence (IPV), can be broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation. Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation. Alcohol consumption and mental illness can be co-morbid with abuse and present additional challenges when present alongside patterns of abuse.

The nature of protection given to women, subconsciously takes varied forms that range from simple admonishing to other complex control mechanism, such as emotional and psychological abuse battering or marital rape, such as a control on their liberty as persons relegates them slowly to a subordinate position; which manifests itself in the existing of unequal power relations between genders, within and outside the home. This violence becomes socially sanctified. Violence against woman and specifically domestic violence is an accepted aspect of life that has its origin in the cultural and religious heritage of India. Many ancient people buried or burnt a man’s widow, horses and other cherished possession with his corpse. In order that he might have all he cherished and lives in this world. This was the objective of ‘Sati’ earlier a ritual now a heinous crime against women. The custom was prevalent amongst the Greek, Egyptians and the Hindus, where Greek accounts of Alexander’s invasion in the 4th century B.C. show this custom being prevalent in Punjab.

Domestic violence in India: 18 lakh girl children die in two decades:
The deaths of 18 lakh girl children in India in the past two decades have for the first time been linked to domestic violence against their mothers.After examining over 1.58 lakh births that took place between 1985 and 2005, an international team of researchers found that spousal violence against wives increased the risk of death among female children, but not male children, in both the first year and the first five years of life.Lead author Jay Silverman, associate professor of society, human development from Harvard School of Public Health, said, "Being born a girl into a family in India in which your mother is abused makes it significantly less likely that you will survive early childhood. Shockingly, this violence does not pose a threat to your life if you are lucky enough to be born a boy."According to authors, this disparity is connected directly with the lower investment in girl children in areas like nutrition, immunization and care for major causes of infant and child death like diarrhoea and respiratory infections.This neglect of girl children is likely to be most pronounced in families where women's status is lowest — where women are physically abused by husbands. The study published in the January issue of the journal "Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine" has been conducted jointly by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, Indian Council of Medical Research, Boston University School of Public Health and the National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health in Mumbai."Family violence against women in India must be vigorously challenged, given that even a very small reduction in this abuse may lead to the saving of tens of thousands of lives of girl infants and children," said Silverman.Violence against women is rampant in India. According to India's latest National Family Health Survey-III, which interviewed 1.25 lakh women in 28 states during 2005-06, over 40% of women reported being beaten by their husbands at some point of time. Over 51% of the 75,000 men interviewed didn't find anything wrong with assaulting their wives. More shockingly, around 54% of the women surveyed thought that such violence was justified on one ground or the other. An earlier study done by Harvard on domestic violence in India had made another major finding –– children of women beaten up or abused by husbands were 21% more likely to die before turning 5.

Francis Coralie Mullin v. Administrator, Union Territory of Delhi and others
Supreme Court, either permanently or temporarily, the person damages or injures or interferes with the use of any limb or faculty of the Act, said: to be freed from violence adhikar Article 21 Prohibition is inside. This right includes physical abuse is defined by the Act, the creation of domestic violence (and therefore punishable under the Act). Acts of physical abuse, or a life / limb or health / in pain, harm or threat of physical health or impair the development of such nature to be called. In addition, the Act defines domestic violence as physical violence within the imagination of the Indian Penal Code and specific acts of physical violence, including acts. Such a broad definition is adopted, the Act protects the rights of women against violence.

Supreme Court constitutes guidelines for determining live in relationship

The Supreme Court of India has framed guidelines in order to determine live-in relationships; the guidelines are based on a multitude of factors including shared household, duration of relation, pooling and resources, and so on.

Supreme Court constitutes guidelines for determining live in relationship. The primary objective behind these guidelines, according to the apex court, is to bring live-in relationships within the expression‘relationship in the nature of marriage’ so the rights of women in such relationships are preserved under the Domestic Violence Act.The judgment was delivered by a bench comprising of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and justice K S Radhakrishnan.

The apex court had also stated that despite not being exhaustive, the eight guidelines issued by the division bench will definitely provide some useful insight into these relationships.

While framing these guidelines, the bench had also stated that entrusting the responsibilities, pooling of domestic as well as financial arrangements, bearing children, sexual relationship, socialization in public and the overall conduct of the parties are some of the other important aspects that need to be considered for evaluating the nature of relationship between the involved parties.

On the issue of financial arrangements and pooling of resources, the bench stated: “supporting each other, or any one of them, financially, sharing bank accounts, acquiring immovable properties in joint names or in the name of the woman, long term investments in business, shares in separate and joint names, so as to have a long standing relationship, may be a guiding factor,” NDTV reports.

The guidelines also emphasized on the presence of sexual relationship and children saying, “Marriage like relationship refers to sexual relationship, not just for pleasure, but for emotional and intimate relationship, for procreation of children, so as to give emotional support, companionship and also material affection, caring etc.”

“Having children is a strong indication of a relationship in the nature of marriage. Parties, therefore, intend to have a long standing relationship. Sharing the responsibility for bringing up and supporting them is also a strong indication,” it added.

II. Status of Women In India: A Brief Study

Historical Perspective
The foundations of domestic violence are imbedded deep in evolutionary history of mankind in India. The history f mankind is history of repeated injures ands usurpations towards women, with an objective to establish tyranny over her.

To fully appreciate the development of Domestic Violence Against Women in the present society, it is necessary to study its genesis from the history of position of woman in the Indian society form Pre historic time, when civilization began on to the Vedic period, followed by the medieval and British periods then on to the development of the present Indian society after attaining independence in August, 1947. History is witnessed to the magnifications of the physical constraints of women which in fact should have been just cursory observations.

1.1. Pre-Vedic Period; The beginning of civilization
The advent of civilization saw no distinction between man and a woman, both were equally responsible for contributing to sustenance, the means always justified the end. This phase in essence was a period if true equality between a man and a woman as the only level of differentiation that was acknowledged was physical and this too was not give too sever a consideration. Aggressive and violent behavior was shown only while hunting and procuring food and water. Gradually the domestication of various species of animals produced specialized pastoralists who led a nomadic and semi nomadic life. This along with the discovery of fire and the intermitted hibernation of woman contribution to the first kind of role defining for a man and a woman, having found fire was of an incalculable value.

Violence as a concept was not-existent as both related to each other at an equal pain, so in this phase no Domestic Violence was found.

1.2. Vedic Period: The Establishment of Civilization

It is held that status of an individual in Indian society is determined by birth and potentially. The Vedic period starts from the 3rd millennium before Christ and extends to 500 B.C.

The Rigveda which is the oldest of the Vedas marks the beginning of a settled life; a shift from the nomadic to agrarian culture, the unit of social formation was the family which consisted of several members under common head called the Kulapa who was a male. No doubt the women were well treated and honored in society, but they suffered. The ancient lawgiver Manu had two divergent opinions, as to how woman should be treated within the Hindu Society. In his authoritative code on social conduct Manu Samhita also known as Manva Dharma Shashtra, Manu states “where women are honored, there gods are pleased; where they are not honored sacred rights yields no fruits”. The Vedic period developed and magnified the institution of marriage. A union between a man and a woman was to discharge the obligation of procreation of a son. Marriage, no doubt a progressive step towards the development of an organized life, future confined the role of woman with in four walls. It was felt that woman could not enter heaven without marriage no, matter how virtuous she might be.

During this period women acquired educational and religious rites. Study was started after the thread ceremony which was called “Upanayan Sanskara” evidences of which are amply found in the Vedic life. A girl having knowledge was called “Gandharva Grihta”. Consequently, women were aware of their surroundings and their place in it. Conclusively it can be said/stressed that during he Vedic period, acceptance of in equity gave women equality and consequently a better status.

1.3. Post Vedic Period
The epic period marked transition between the Vedic and the Hindu period which comprised of the reign of kings such as Ashoka, Kanishka, Chandergupta–1 and many more. This period paved the way for giving shape to the Indian society. The Ramayana belongs to the Treta Yuga. The position of women was better in the beginning but there was decline towards the end. The period marks the beginning of social vices such as polygamy, purdah, prostitution, sati etc.

Intermarriages between the native and non-native added to their inhabitants’ misery, as the non-native wives were not religiously inclined having the effects of alienation women as a whole from participation in religious life. It was during this time that women in the Hindu religious traditions come to assign a dichotomous role. Worshiped on the one hand, as the ultimate creative principle and controlled on the other as threats to that very creation. In such societies women came to be projected in dual roles one as an empowered Goddess and the other as submissive dependant ideal wife referred to as the “spouse Goddess” by Lynn Gatewood. Women were slowly learning to conform to standards of conduct set by men in the entire community. They were slowly and unconsciously becoming objects of control whereby the course of their lives was always pre-determined and pre-defined. These limitations placed on her freedom were harsh punishment for being physically week. It was observed that the general conditions of women was deteriorating she was becoming more dependant on her husband or his make relatives.

1.4. Muslim Period
A.S. Altekar’s “The position of women in Hindu Civilization” suggests that the fall in the status is blamed on the corrupting external influence of other cultures. The other cultures could obviously be interpreted to mean the Muslim and the Christian cultures that started to influence Indian society during the medieval period. Since the education was discover aged child marriages become a natural consequence. It was laid down that the girl should be married at the age of 7, 10 and at the most 12 years. A marriage at or after the age of puberty was considered to be a bad marriage and a matter of sin for her parents. Thus the Muslim rule in effect caused and witnessed this degradation of women both with in and outside the house. These historical developments influenced women in the way they were treated in society and how they treated themselves. These episodes in history inculcated in women a deep seated inferiority complex where by they accepted being secondary citizens under the shadow of men.

1.5. British Period
Historical evidences has pointed out that women have always been made to occupy a totally a historical and mythical spaces symbolizing eternal values. These eternal values formed the cultural and spiritual center of the Hindu society. The patriarchy intentionally gave women this place in order to protect the culture and spirituality of Indian from the alien onslaught. Since women had an accepted physical weakness that needed to protected, they were confined within supposedly secure sphere and made the custodian of India culture and spiritually.

The first phase of Christian era began around 300 B.C. when India was still enveloped in Vedic traditions. The guiding philosophies of sutras, early samritis, the epic of Ramayana and Mahabharata and above all the code of Manu during the period of 500 B.C. to 500 AD had made an impressionable impact on the lives of all people in India. Thus the fist phase of Christian ear saw the chaining of a woman’s personality in the name of protectionism.

The second phase of Christian era came at the advent of British rule in 1600 AD. A common ground existed between the colonizing and colonized culture such as India, in the way they perceived women. With the establishments of the British agencies which undertook some social reforms, The Christian missionaries attached local traditions and practices as being oppressive towards women.

The British rule in women’s context proved remarkable in the sense that there emerged a certain class of men who had received English education, were still a part of the patriarchal society but saw what was wrong in the way women were being treated and that some corrective measures were needed to set things right.

British rule in 18th century brought about a decree of social orderliness; social structure was reformed with legislative measures. It is pertinent to mention here that since these movements had effective involvement of educated Indian men who surged forward the cause of women, it was expected to the successful. In Bengal, men like Dwarekanath Tagore, Davindera Nath Tagore, Keshva Changer Sen, Ishwar Chadera, Vidya Sagar, Justice Ranade etc, are example of these efforts. Apart from these there were many exclusive women organizations that functioned on a national basis and took up various women issues such as women’s education, abolition of social evils, Hindu law Reform, moral and material progress of women, equality of rights and opportunities and women suffrage.

Due to these efforts women realized that they too had rights as equal as men both outside and with in the familial sphere. The British rule had the effect of bringing to fore the plight of women and forcing the society to recognize them no doubt their participation in the mainstream was always of convenience suited to make purpose and intent.

2. Post Independence Period
Such was the legacy of the British rule that India inherited on the dawn of independence in 1947. The women, who had already contributed to the freedom struggle at all levels, saw this as an opportunity to accelerate their emancipation and to shape their won destinies. There was development at every level and in every sphere to keep peace, all had to contribute equally. Sadly, there is a lot of differences between the perceived objective and the actual objective that is achieved. Women experienced physiological and psychological change as they educated themselves. It was seen that women physically became stronger and ore resilient and mentally more independent. Since these changes were not visible or were conveniently ignored by the Patriarchal. Woman started to suffer from conflicting emotional feelings that effected their mental and physical health. This turned to be effected their relationships both within the house and outside. It became extremely difficult for these women to value themselves and their existence. The insecurity of their relationships filed them with guilt, anxiety, anger and resentment and a sense of helplessness at being considered a burden and a commodity. The sex ratio in highly unfavorable towards women. Maternal mortality high life expectancy was low.

Female child marriages were high, illiteracy was high, and wages were at an all time low. According to 2001 census Sex ratio is 940/1000, Literacy rate of female is 65.46%; Total fertility rate; 2.62 children born/woman (2011 est.); Maternal Mortality for India: 212 from 254) 2007-09; and Life expectancy at birth of female is 67.95 years (2011 est.). Rural women lacked in education but they have economic independence even though small. Urban woman have education even though they may be economic dependants. It is now men who have to live two lives, public and private. Men are public except women as equals and they have no choice whereas men in private still assert the patriarchal authority and struggle. Vehemently to retain their hold by whatever control mechanism they can think of. AS it rightly observed, women are no longer merely sexual or life partners in marriages.

It is observed from the preceding discussions that women have been and still are physically weak, but a gentle and considerate acceptance of it has them rather this has been exploited to suppress the challenge that they pose by conferring their position and role with in homes.

III .Concept of Violence Against Women

1. Meaning and Definitions of Domestic Violence
There is no universally accepted definition of violence against women. Some human rights activists prefer a broad-based definition that includes "structural violence" such as poverty, and unequal access to health and education. Others have argued for a more limited definition in order not to lose the actual descriptive power of the term.2 In any case, the need to develop specific operational definitions has been acknowledged so that research and monitoring can become more specific and have greater cross-cultural applicability. The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life."3 This definition refers to the gender-based roots of violence, recognizing that "violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men." It broadens the definition of violence by including both the physical and psychological harm done towards women, and it includes acts in both private and public life. The Declaration defines violence against women as encompassing, but not limited to, three areas: violence occurring in the family, within the general community, and violence perpetrated or condoned by the State.

Traditionally, domestic violence (DV) was mostly associated with physical violence. For instance, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, domestic violence is: "the inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another; also: a repeated / habitual pattern of such behavior."Domestic violence is now more broadly defined to include "all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence" that may be committed by a person who is a family member or a person that has been an intimate partner or spouse, irrespective of whether they lived together.

In 1993, The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women identified domestic violence as one of three contexts in which violence against women occurs, describing it as:

"Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape,female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation".

Domestic violence, as defined for this Digest, includes violence perpetrated by intimate partners and other family members, and manifested through:

a). Physical abuse such as slapping, beating, arm twisting, stabbing, strangling, burning, choking, kicking, threats with an object or weapon, and murder. It also includes traditional practices harmful to women such as female genital mutilation and wife inheritance (the practice of passing a widow, and her property, to her dead husband’s brother).

b). Sexual abuse such as coerced sex through threats, intimidation or physical force, forcing unwanted sexual acts or forcing sex with others.

c). Psychological abuse which includes behavior that is intended to intimidate and persecute, and takes the form of threats of abandonment or abuse, confinement to the home, surveillance, threats to take away custody of the children, destruction of objects, isolation, verbal aggression and constant humiliation.

d). Economic abuse includes acts such as the denial of funds, refusal to contribute financially, denial of food and basic needs, and controlling access to health care, employment, etc.

Acts of omission are also included in this Digest as a form of violence against women and girls. Gender bias that discriminates in terms of nutrition, education and access to health care amounts to a violation of women's rights. It should be noted that although the categories above are listed separately, they are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they often go hand in hand.

Violence against women has been an integral part of their existence. The offence takes place within the environs of a home comprising of a family whose structure depends upon the society in which it is placed. Cruelty forms the part and parcel of Domestic Violence.

Criminal and family laws in India do attempt to define cruelty are straight jackets. Under criminal laws physical manifestation of violence is recognized to be cruelly, no doubt mental cruelty is recognized to a certain extent in interpretation not in the letter of law. Likewise under the family laws, cruelty laws be both physical as well as mental but only in very ordinary sense as it is required to prove only as a ground for granting divorce and not fro any punitive action.

It is only under section 2 (viii), clause (a) to (f) of Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act 1939 that cruelty is defined in is actual terms.

Women’s real life experience shows that they face violence in the form of physical mental verbal, emotional, psychological, and sexual economic and intellectual. The present concept of cruelty amounting to violence is vague and is at the mercy of judicial interpretations that is patriarchal in its approach towards cases of Domestic Violence.

The protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 attempts to define Domestic Violence with cruelty as its basic ingredient. A brief discussion of the various definitions has been proposed as follows:
i) Gelles and Stravas, defined family violence as the day to day patterned recurrent use of physically violence like pushing, stepping, punching knifing, shooting and throwing objects by one member of the family at another.

ii) Violence that occurs within the private sphere generally between individuals who all related through intimacy of blood or law.

iii) According to UN, Domestic Violence is all acts of gender based physical and psychological abuse by a family member against women in the family ranging form simple assaults to aggravated physical battering kidnapping threats, intimidation, coercion, stalking, humiliation, verbal abuse, forcible or unlawful entry, arson, destruction of property, sexual violence female genital mutilation, violence related to exploitation, through prostitution violence against household workers and attempts to commit such acts shall be termed as domestic violence.

iv) According to the Convention on Elimination of all form of Discrimination against Women, 1979, “Domestic Violence is any act of gender based violence that results in or is likely to results in physical, sexual, psychological harm to women including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in public or private life.

According to sec. 3 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, “any act or omission or commission or conduct of the respondents shall constitute domestic violence in case it:
a). harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well being whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved of person or trends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or
b). harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or any other person related to her meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property of valuable security; or
c). has the effect of threatening the aggrieved persons or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or
d). otherwise injures or cause harm, whether physical or mental to the aggrieved person.

The definition highlighted the various binds of abuses that or woman can be subjected to within a marital relationship.

Domestic violence can generally be described as when one adult in a relationship misuses power to control. It is the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through violence and other forms of abuse. It is a cruel and an inhuman treatment where the abuser tortures and controls the victim by calculated threats intimidation and violence.

2. Domestic Violence against Women in India: A Data Analysis
According to UN Development Program, “nearly 70% married women in the age of 15 to 49 years in India faced “rape, beating and verbal abuse”.In a hospital, 430 of 450 female fetuses get aborted in one year. Through ingeniously barbaric ways – smearing opium, tactical maneuvering of umbilical cord, drowning in milk, feeding wet peddy or salt, millions of girl infants go missing. Devra a small village in Rajasthan receives a barat after 110 years. Through a disguised play of platonic affection, incest is often committed offence within an intimate social network of numerous households.

Around 140 Sati temples spring up in the country and women are forced to perform sati for grabbing a property share, to restrain her from developing so called illicit relationships to feed the avarice of priest, to appease jealous husband on their death beds, to escape the social stigma of widowhood and to deep them in an unbroken conjugal bondage even in other worldly life.”

The Indian national crime bureau reports that there were about 6787 dowry death cases registered in India in 2005. Incidents of dowry deaths during the year 2005 (6,787) have increased significantly by 46.0 per cent over 1995 level (4,648). However, the increase was marginal (0.1%) over quinquennial average of 2000-2004 and there was a decline by 3.4 per cent (7,026) compared to year 2005.

The National Crime Report of 1991 reveals that in every 33 minutes a woman is abused by her husband. CSR (Centre for Social Research) has one and a half decades of experience in providing direct services to women victims of violence and has established a National Network on Violence against Women. CSR annually receives nearly 800 cases of domestic violence in its six Crisis Intervention Centers (CICs) located in different parts of Delhi. CSR HQ is the nodal agency for the Crisis Intervention Centre for Rape Victims of South West District of Delhi. The strength of this centre is the prompt, speedy and sensitive action taken for fast redressal of rape cases.

As per the reports namely Crime in India, 2005, everyday;
a). 50 women were raped;
b). 22 women were murdered due to dowry,
c). 168 women faced domestic violence by their husband and his relatives;
d). 120 women were molested;
e). 426 cases of crimes against women were reported.

Thirty five percent of women face physical violence, while ten percent face sexual violence from their partners in India, said a UN report. "It was found that 35 per cent of respondents in India have reported to be victims of physical violence by their intimate partners, while 10 per cent of respondents were victims of sexual violence by their intimate partners," said the report. The report also said that 39 percent women thought it was all right to get beaten by a partner. "It was found that 35% of respondents in India have reported to be victims of physical violence by their intimate partners, while 10% of respondents were victims of sexual violence by their intimate partners," said the report.

IV. Causes of Domestic Violence Against Women

There is no one single factor to account for violence perpetrated against women. Increasingly, research has focused on the inter-relatedness of various factors that should improve our understanding of the problem within different cultural contexts.

Manifestation of Domestic Violence
The following are the broader areas of manifestation of Domestic Violence:
i). Natal/Pre marital Home
It is within a family unit that we come to understand what violence really means. The violence that is faced by a girl is the natal home and is manifested as follows:
a) Female Foeticide – Foeticide is an offence a kin to murder and is regarded as a violation of the right of life which is a fundamental right laid down in any legal or religious code of the world. The Buddhists, who condemned the destruction of life, laid down that the Bhikkhu “who intentionally destroys a human being by way of abortion are no samana and no follower of Sakeyaputta.

The ever increasing instances of female Foeticide especially in the northern part of India has shown the ineffectiveness of the legislative enactments such as the MTP ACT 1971 and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act 1994. It also proves the belief that girls are unwanted even in the present times when we increasingly advocate the concepts of gender equality and women empowerment. Female Foeticide is an instance of violence being committed against nature as it amounts to killing of a potential life.

Incidence and Magnitude
Sex selective abortions cases have become a significant social phenomenon in several parts of India. It transcends all castes, class and communities and even the North South dichotomy. The girl children become target of attack even before they are born. Diaz, (1988) states that in a well-known Abortion Centre in Mumbai, after undertaking the sex determination tests, out of the 15,914 abortions performed during 1984-85 almost 100 per cent were those of girl foetuses. Similarly, a survey report of women’s centre in Mumbai found that out of 8,000 foetuses aborted in six city hospitals 7,999 foetuses were of girls (Gangrade, 1988: 63-70). It is reported that about 4,000 female babies are aborted in Tamil Nadu (southern India) every year. Sex determination tests are widely resorted to even in the remotest rural areas. Since most deliveries in rural areas take place at home there is no record of the exact number of births/deaths that take place. Therefore, it is difficult to assess the magnitude of the problem. However, the fact remains that the right to be born are being denied to the female child. Since all religions treated abortion as immoral, and contrary to divine law, this blanket ban on abortion, resulted in illegal abortions and risking the life of the woman. Though a series of government circulars banned the sex determination tests from 1977 onwards yet a field study conducted in Mumbai by Sanjeev Kulkarni (1986) brought to light the fact that 84 per cent of the gynaecologists admitted to having performed the amniocentesis tests for sex determination. Of these 74 per cent gynaecologists had started performing the test since 1982 and only a few cases of genetic defects were detected. The overwhelming majority of ‘patients’, most of whom were from middle or upper middle class, were only interested in knowing the sex of the foetus. Interestingly, Bandewar (2003: 2075-2081) found that 64 per cent of the abortion service providers were against sex selective abortions; 10 per cent said they were against it but had to do it and the rest about 24 per cent approved the practice of sex selective abortions. Although there was not much variation among service providers working in public/private health care facilities or rural/urban location but difference was found among men and women service providers. About 28 per cent men approved of sex selective abortion practice whereas it was only 17 per cent in case of women providers. Thus it was higher percentage of women providers (68 per cent) compared to men (61 per cent) who were against such a practice. Those who disapproved of the practice of sex selective abortions but engaged in it against their principles expressed their compulsions and helplessness for two reasons:

1. Due to pressures arising out of unhealthy competition in the health care service sector it was said that if they did not provide abortion care services, some others would have provided them, and
2. Implications in terms of persistent abuse and exploitation that the women have to face back home in case they did not get the abortion done.

Many talked of compulsions that women have at their ends to go for sex selection abortions. These arise either out of social norms fostering son preference or because their lives are put at stake in case they do not produce a son. Some also said that unwanted girls ran the risk of severe ill treatment at their natal homes causing them emotional and mental trauma. Hence the service providers empathised with the woman’s social needs for sex selective abortions (Economic and Political Weekly, 2003). Nearly 10,000 cases of female foeticide have been reported from Ahmedabad alone (Gangrade, 1988: 63-70). Additional threat that causes grave concern is the development of new preselection techniques, such as, Electrophoresis, Ericsson’s method, etc., which involve prior manipulation of the sex of the child. What will be the future of the female race is a moot question. There is dearth of empirical data on this subject. Sections 312-316 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deal with miscarriage and death of an unborn child and depending on the severity and intention with which the crime is committed, the penalties range from seven years to life imprisonment forfourteen years and fine.

b. Female Infanticide
This manifestation of violence is very much similar to the above offence. It is a pernicious manifestation of an ideology that devalues a girl child. In states like MP and Rajsthan, girl child is drowned in mild at birth because nobody is prepared to support her. This heinous act shows how the impeding social and financial burden of that girl in later years overpowers the joy of the birth of the child and compels the parents and the family to commit such atrocities on the innocent girl child.

c. Child Abuse/Incest
Even though violence is perpetrated against both make and female children it is observed that an estimated 90.1% of victims of child abuse are girl children and more than 90.1% of the perpetrators of child sexual abuse are men. Child abuse is common in homes where there exist instances of domestic violence other members of the family more specifically being women.

d. Child Marriage
This is a manifestation of Domestic Violence that has historical roots but present and future prevalence. It is a type of violence that uproots the entire existence of woman in her entire existence of a woman in her entire life span, making her permanently weak both in mind and body. A UNICEF report points out that in present times parents consent to child marriage out of economic necessity to protect girls from sexual assault, prevent pregnancy outside marriage to extend a girl child bearing years or to ensure obedience to their husband and house hold.

e. Child Labour
In India, 28% of the total population lives below poverty line. Meaning thereby these many percent of household services are less than Rs.600 per month. This offence has a much larger reach and extends beyond the four walls of a home; the offenders of this offence are people who need not necessarily be members of the family.

f. Immoral Trafficking of children
A UN Trafficking Protocol defines trafficking, “a recruitment, movement or transportation of a person through force, deception or fraud or violence into a site of exploitative work.” Domestic Violence is the form of forced prostitution by male partners or parents has been reported world wide. Young girls are trafficked for sexual slavery and domestic work where they are systematically tortured, beaten and starved if they happen to show resistance.

ii) Conjugal or Marital Home
Manifestation of domestic violence against women in the marital home is following:-

a) Physical abuse
Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.

b) Dowry Related Harassment
Dowry related disputes form an integral part of the legitimate causes listed for wife-beating or spousal abuse. It is most discussed and glaring form of violence inflicted upon women. Dowry or Dahej is the payment in cash or/and kind by the bride's family to the bridegroom' s family along with the giving away of the bride ( called Kanyadaan) in Indian marriage. Kanyadanam is an important part of Hindu marital rites. Kanya means daughter, and dana means gift. Dowry originated in upper caste families as the wedding gift to the bride from her family. The dowry was later given to help with marriage expenses and became a form of insurance in the case that her in-laws mistreated her. Although the dowry was legally prohibited in 1961, it continues to be highly institutionalized. The groom often demands a dowry consisting of a large sum of money, farm animals, furniture, and electronics.

Dowry deaths are the deaths of young women who are murdered or driven to suicide by continuous harassment and torture by husbands and in-laws in an effort to extort increased dowry Dowry deaths are reported in various South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Dowry death is considered one of the many categories of violence against women in South Asia. Most dowry deaths occur when the young woman, unable to bear the harassment and torture, commits suicide. Most of these suicides are by hanging or by fire. Sometimes the woman is killed by setting her on fire; this is known as "bride burning".

3) Marital Rape
Marital rape has not been recognized as an offence as performance of sexual duties has been considered an integral part of the marriage. Men can legitimately use violence in the from of sexual abuse if there is breach of such duty. Therefore even if there is non-consensual, forceful sexual relationship between husband and wife it will not be considered as marital rape.

It was in the year 1991 that marital rape became a criminal offence in the United Kingdom. The govt. of cypress has recognized marital rape as an offence in its Prevention of Violence in the family and Protection of victims Act 1993. Clarifying that ‘rape is rape’ irrespective of whether it is committed within or outside marriage.

In India too marital rape is treated a criminal offence only if wife is living separately under a decree of judicial separation on custom. It is only just recently that under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 that marital rape is being treated as a civil office as an instance of sexual abuse with in the marriage or similar relation.

4) Sati
Commonly called as Sati Pratha or Jauhar Vrata, it is an offence against women e.g. indigenous to India, it has ancient roots but still a part of today in some part of India e.g. in Rajsthan. In the year 1987, Roop Kanwar, children 19 years old widow committed Sati in Rajsthan’s Deorala village in August 2001, Kuttu Bai 65, committed sati in MP’s Panna Distt in March 2004, Rekia Devi, 65, committed Sati in Bastipur Distt of Bihar and in April 2006, Sita Devi, 77, committed sati in Gaya district of Bihar.

Even when Lord Willium Bentick, in 1829, declared it illegal, it still continued in states such as Rajsthan etc.

5) Age Related Abuse
Women experience some form of violence in every phase of their lives. It is often seen that women who experience violence in their marital home may have been targets of violence in their metal home e.g. deprivation of education in natal home may lead to economic abuse in marital home like wise, for the women the abuse suffered in old age might form a continuum with her experience of violence as a child in the natal home and as a wife in the conjugal home

6) Forced Prostitution
Forced prostitution or other kinds of commercial exploitation by male partners or parents is another form of violence against women and children reported worldwide. Destitute families, unable to support their children, often hire out or sell their children, who may then be forced into prostitution. Very often the young girl is sent as a domestic worker, in which case she may be physically and sexually exploited by her employers.

7) Killing in the Name of Honour
Hundreds, if not thousands, of women are murdered by their families each year in the name of family "honor." It's difficult to get precise numbers on the phenomenon of honor killing; the murders frequently go unreported, the perpetrators unpunished, and the concept of family honor justifies the act in the eyes of some societies. Honour killing is defined as a death that is awarded to a woman of the family for marrying against the parent’s wishes, having extramarital and premarital relationships, marrying within the same gotra or outside one’s caste or marrying a cousin from a different caste. Honour killing is different from the dowry deaths that are also a very common practice in India as, in the case of dowry deaths, the perpetrators of that action claim that they have not been given enough material rewards for accepting the woman into the family. In India, for example, more than 5,000 brides die annually because their dowries are considered insufficient, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Crimes of passion, which are treated extremely leniently in Latin America, are the same thing with a different name, some rights advocates say.

Forms of Domestic Violence
All the possible forms that will constitute the offence for a better understanding:
a). Physical Abuse
While defining Domestic Violence under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, in section 3 of the act Physical Abuse is explained as any act or conduct which is of such nature as to cause bodily pain, harm or danger to life, limb, or health or impair the health or development of the aggrieved person and include assault criminal intimidation and criminal force. Physical abuse is the most pervasive and ancient method of subordinating of women in a family, it is the most common control mechanism applied against a woman within the domestic sphere. Blackstone has justified mild correction by a man against is wife, since she was regarded as the property of her husband/baron/lord, he could exercise all rights to secure obedience or subservience. Blackstone’s rule of Thumb that permitted a wire to be chastised by a stick no thicker than a thumb in case of disobedience is an example of social legitimating of wife battering in English society.

b) Psychological/ Emotional Abuse
Causing of abuse to a woman in the domestic sphere is multidimensional. Under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 emotional or psychological abuse which has been categorized as verbal, is explained as to include – insults, ridicule, humiliation, name calling and insults especially with regard to not having a child or a male child and repeated there as to cause physical pain to any person in whom the aggrieved person is interested. Psychological abuses are one of the major forms of abuses faced by women.

c) Sexual Abuse
International law in the context of violence against women has recognized sexual abuse against women as one of the forms of violence inflicted by both public and private sector.

The Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 explains sexual abuse includes any conduct of a sexual nature that abuses humiliates degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of women. This form of abuse is specific to the interpersonal relation between a man and a woman most often in a marital relationship. Of the many duties that a wife has towards her husband, performance of sexual duties is one of them. A wife is never expected to neglect her duties failure to carry out sexual duties or unfaith fullness appears to have been widely accepted and understandable explanation for men’s violence. In present times men use sexual violence to assert and maintain their superior masculinity. This form of abuse is more common in households where men are literate and affluent. In a survey it was found that 79% of men used sexual violence to control their wives’ fidelity and 57% of them had more than 6 years of formal education.

d) Economic Abuse
Economic abuse is a deprivation of the basic need of a person to sustain him in a social se up. Economic abuse includes:

a. Deprivation of all or any economic of financial resources to which the aggrieved person is entitled under any law or custom whether payable under on order of court or otherwise or which the aggrieved person requires out of necessities including but not limited household necessities for the aggrieved person and her children, if any stridhan property jointly and separately owned by the aggrieved person payment of rental related to shared household and maintenance.

b. Disposal of household effects any alienation of assets whether moveable or immovable, valuables, shares, securities, bonds and the like of other property in which the aggrieved person ha an interest or is entitled to use by virtue of domestic relationship or which may be reasonably be required by the aggrieved person or her children or her stridhan or any other property or separately held by the aggrieved person, and

c. Prohibition or restriction to continued access to resources or facilities which the aggrieved person is entitled to use or enjoy by virtue of domestic relationship including access to the shared household. Economic deprivation gives insecurities to a woman as she is fearful of facing penury if left alone. This attitude makes her economically dependant even if she earns money to supplement the family income. This insecurity hurts the positive regard of the woman as she feels herself constantly at the mercy of those who are providing her.

e) Intellectual Abuse
Of all the abuses in Domestic Violence previously discussed, intellectual abuse has been missing from all the definitions of Domestic Violence. This is perhaps because in India a marital relationship or any other man-woman relationship is about the acceptance of inequality, where men dominate and injure and women get dominated and endure. The entire socialization process has an inherent isolation for both men and women, which inhibits effective communication between the two. Even where domestic harmony exists, there is a sense of isolation in thought whereby both men and women experience alienation from each other and at a certain level they come out to be strangers. Different educational levels add to the isolation as the mental levels are different and both find difficulties in relating to each other at the intellect level. In most of instances it is seen that Indian marriages are clouded with words such as adjustments and compromises. There is no mention of companionship or friendship as John Stuart Mill would describe it. In this scenario women come to be perceived as intellectually inferior, hysterical and unreliable and so on. This isolates women with in a domestic sphere and limits their role to procreation of children, preferable sons and to the nurturing their families. Even educated and economically independent women face this isolation as men in a patriarchal set up have controlled access to all economic activities and to all assets including knowledge which contribute to their profitability. Moreover a woman’s work in India is shaped and monitored predominantly by patriarchal authorities at home and outside The Domestic Violence Act, 2005 has failed to address this form of abuse as it has been clubbed with other abuses such as psychological emotional and economic there by missing its import.

f) Tolerance of Abuse
Since domestic violence tends to be culturally engrained, or derived from culturally-based gender roles, many women are tolerant of the abuse they face. A study on Latina women found that, for many participants, maintaining an intact family took precedence over their personal problems. Their belief that the welfare of their children was dependent upon keeping their family together often led them to tolerate the abuse. In addition, “the Latina participants discussed the sacredness of marital bonds and the love and loyalty they felt towards their husbands that made them willing to tolerate abuse. Some believed that they did not have the right to complain, protest or seek help because of the self-sacrificing nature of marriage.” In Nicaragua, for example, 32% of rural women say it is acceptable for a husband to beat his wife if he even suspects that she has been cheating on him. In Asia, many women believe that they would bring shame upon themselves, their families, and their communities by disclosing their abusive situation to a medical provider. In addition, they were embarrassed by their husband’s behavior and believed it reflected poorly on them. A study on domestic violence in India reflected this sentiment and found that “among the women who reported violence, 29% had never received medical care after domestic violence, and 10% had never told a health worker about being abused. Only 5% of the women reported speaking to the health worker about problems of violence at home.”

Abusers use a variety of tactics to manipulate you and exert their power
A diagrammatical form of domestic violence is shown as under:
a. Dominance
Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They will make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his or her possession.

b. Humiliation
An abuser will do everything he or she can to make you feel bad about yourself or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you're worthless and that no one else will want you, you're less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.

c. Isolation
In order to increase your dependence on him or her, an abusive partner will cut you off from the outside world. He or she may keep you from seeing family or friends, or even prevent you from going to work or school. You may have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone.

d. Threats
Abusers commonly use threats to keep their partners from leaving or to scare them into dropping charges. Your abuser may threaten to hurt or kill you, your children, other family members, or even pets. He or she may also threaten to commit suicide, file false charges against you, or report you to child services.

e. Intimidation
Your abuser may use a variety of intimidation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The clear message is that if you don't obey, there will be violent consequences.

f. Denial and blame
Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abusive partner may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He or she will commonly shift the responsibility on to you: Somehow, his or her violent and abusive behavior is your fault.

Factors/Causes responsible for Domestic Violence
There is no one single factor to account for violence perpetrated against women. Increasingly, research has focused on the inter-relatedness of various factors that should improve our understanding of the problem within different cultural contexts. Several complex and interconnected institutionalized social and cultural factors have kept women particularly vulnerable to the violence directed at them, all of them manifestations of historically unequal power relations between men and women. Violence against women is partly a result of gender relations that assumes men to be superior to women. Following are the some of the causes of Domestic Violence discussed as under:

Historical Factors
Historical factors trace the origin of Domestic Violence of various aspects such as external influence, Islamic rules, British colonialism and western influence in present times which cause the development and propagation of this offence against women.

Religious Factors
Religious attitudes have influence the way women have been treated, A sublime psychological abuse seems to have appeared early in history of Indian society that has received religious sanctifications. Religion has an effect on the way our society was structured. Stratification was based on race birth and descent which were referred to as Verna and Jati respectively.

3. Sociological Factors
These causes can be studied under the following heads as under:-
a) Aggressive Attitude
The word tolerance is losing its relevance in today’s world. In this new world there exist no morals and norms. No body here knows her non-violence is better than violence and e.g. why people behave aggressively on every issue. They believe that every matter inside and outside the home should be solved with physical power not with peace. Moreover in this man dominating society women are not allowed to be ahead of men because of the belief that a man who cannot control women would not regard as mean in real sense.

b) Poverty
When a person is not able to meet even a two square, he may get aggressive and violence and this leads to domestic violence often against woman.

c) Status Difference
Status difference is another main cause of domestic violence. In every society besides of great advancement man, try to achieve high status and for that his greed for money increases and this may lead to domestic violence.

d) Dominating Behavior
Domestic Violence may start when one partner feels the need to control and dominate the other. Abuses may be feel this need to control their partner because of low self esteem, extreme jealousy, difficulties in regulating anger and other strong emotions or when they feel inferior to the other partner in education and socio-economic background.

e) Drug Addiction
Alcohol and other chemical substances may contribute to violent behavior. A drunk or high person will be less likely to control his violent impulse.

f) Psychological Factors
The below are the some of the Psychological factors considered to be the causes of domestic violence by the psychologists. These as under are:

i. Learnt behavior as a child
This states that the perpetrator of domestic violence is one who has learnt such behavior when he or she was a child. It can happen that the abuser is one who comes from a violent home.

ii. Extra-marital affairs
These are an increasing factor in marital conflicts which lead to domestic violence. Extra- marital affairs are frequent and the lack of trust, doubtful and suspicious attitudes lead to disputes which can lead to physical abuse/beating of partners. Marital/conjugal responsibilities are neglected/avoided due to extra marital affairs. These again lead to disputes, domestic violence and sometimes separation/divorce. Children may suffer due to separation/divorce of parents due to neglect by either parent who is more concerned about their affair.

iii. Personality pattern/Nature of the partner (quarrelsome/dominant role)
The personality pattern of certain people (as defined by their innate tendencies and the impact of environment (parents, family, relatives /socialization) might have been shaped in such a fashion that a partner assumes a leading/dominant role in a marital/conjugal relationship. This can lead to clashes between partners who are of different schools of thought, ways and patterns of upbringing and education. Non-adjustment, Non-acceptance and Non-understanding of a relationship in conflict can lead to domestic violence.

iv. Irresponsible/Careless partners
Partners who are irresponsible/careless with respect to conjugal/marital responsibilities such as work, purchase of necessary goods, construction of house, payment of bills, responsibility for children’s education/schooling may be one of the causes of domestic violence.

v. Interference of In-laws
Mauritius being a country where extended family system still prevails, interference of in-laws/elders in conjugal matters of couples sometimes leads to rifts leading to domestic violence.

vi. Stress
Stress is considered as a cause of domestic violence. A person can be under stress due to responsibilities at home or can be some problems at work. This person has a tendency to be violent towards the partner.

vii. Economic hardship such as prolonged unemployment
Prolonged unemployment can be one of the causes of violence. It is seen as a response to the frustration that this pressure generates on the abuser. There are financial difficulties which can lead to domestic violence.

 

Effects of Domestic Violence against Women
Any action done by a man leads to a problem when it has adverse effect on society. Some of general effects of Domestic Violence against Women are depression, anxiety attacks, low self esteem, lack of trust in others, feeling of abandonment, anger, sensitivity to rejection, chronic health problems, sleeping problems, inability to work, poor, relationships, substance abuse. In addition to these, problems, physical abuse may result in serious injury or death if the victim does not leave the relationship.

Effects of Domestic Violence against Women on Children
Children who witness domestic violence may develop serious emotional behavioral, developmental or academic problems. As they develop, children and teens who grow up with domestic violence household are more likely to:-

Exhibit violent and aggressive behavior,

a. Attempts suicide,
b. Use and abuse drugs,
c. Common crimes, especially sexual assault,
d. Become abusers in their relationships later in life.

It is because of lack of parental control over children due to death, divorce or desertion of parent or their ignorance or illness and domestic quarrels may furnish soothing ground for the children to resort to bad practices and election of wrong path.

V. Legal Framework on Domestic Violence in India

Violence is a complex issue because women are offer conditioned from birth to accept all treatment and even in sophisticated societies they refrain from taking about if for fear of reprisal from family members, guilt and shame or the belief that the perpetrators are likely to get away with their crime.

What specific provisions of law deal with domestic violence?
Educated women are aware of their rights; they are no longer willing to follow commands blindly. When they ask questions, it causes conflicts, which, in turn, leads to violence. In many Indian states, working women are asked to hand over their paycheck to the husband and have no control over their finances. So, if they stop doing so or start asserting their right, there is bound to be friction. In 1983, domestic violence was recognized as a specific criminal offence by the introduction of section 498-A into the Indian Penal Code. This section deals with cruelty by a husband or his family towards a married woman. Four types of cruelty are dealt with by this law:

i. Conduct that is likely to drive a woman to suicide,
ii. Conduct which is likely to cause grave injury to the life, limb or health of the woman,
iii. Harassment with the purpose of forcing the woman or her relatives to give some property,
iv. Harassment because the woman or her relatives is unable to yield to demands for more money or does not give some property.

The punishment is imprisonment for up to three years and a fine. The complaint against cruelty need not be lodged by the person herself. Any relative may also make the complaint on her behalf. Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code covers dowry-related harassment. The Indian Penal Code also addresses dowry deaths in section 304-B. If a woman dies of "unnatural causes" within seven years of marriage and has been harassed for dowry before her death, the Courts will assume that it is a case of dowry death. The husband or in-laws will then have to prove that their harassment was not the cause of her death. A dowry death is punishable by imprisonment of at least seven years. On 23rd June 2005 the cabinet approved the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Bill, after which it received assent from Parliament. This approval brings to the fore a new civil law on domestic violence, which provides immediate emergency remedies for women facing violence. These include: protection orders; non-molestation orders; and the right to reside in the shared household. There are various legal provisions under the Indian Constitutional, criminal and civil law formulated for addressing the different forms of violence against women by private actors. Various legal provisions are highlighted below:

I. Constitutional Law

1.1 Equality before law: Art. 14
The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

1.2 Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth
Art.15 (1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth.
Art.15 (3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.

1.3 Article 16: Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
(1) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect or, any employment or office under the State

(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribing, in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the Government of, or any local or other authority within, a State or Union territory, any requirement as to residence within that State or Union territory prior to such employment or appointment

1.4 Protection of life and personal liberty: Art.21
No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State:
a) that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood;
b) that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment;

1.5 Equal justice and free legal aid: Art. 39
Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State: The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing:

Sub Article (a) - that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means to livelihood;

Sub Article (e) - that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.

1.6 Equal justice and free legal aid: Art. 39A
The State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.

1.7 Fundamental duties: Art. 51A
Sub Article (e) - to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.

II Criminal Laws

I. Criminal Procedure Code, 1973

1) Sec. 125 - Order for maintenance of wives, children and parents
1) If any person having sufficient means neglects or refuses to maintain-
a). his wife, unable to maintain herself, or
b) his legitimate or illegitimate minor child, whether married or not, unable to maintain itself, or
c) his legitimate or illegitimate child (not being a married daughter) who has attained majority, where such child is, by reason of any physical or mental abnormality or injury unable to maintain itself, or

d) his father or mother, unable to maintain himself or herself, a Magistrate of the first class may, upon proof of such neglect or refusal, order such person to make a monthly allowance for the maintenance of his wife or such child, father or mother, at such monthly rate; as such magistrate thinks fit, and to pay the same to such person as the Magistrate may from time to time direct:

Provided that the Magistrate may order the father of a minor female child referred to in clause b) to make such allowance, until she attains her majority, if the Magistrate is satisfied that the husband of such minor female child, if married, is not possessed of sufficient means.

Provided further that the Magistrate may, during the pendency of the proceeding regarding monthly allowance for the maintenance under this sub-section, order such person to make a monthly allowance for the interim maintenance of his wife or such child, father or mother, and the expenses of such proceeding which the Magistrate considers reasonable, and to pay the same to such person as the Magistrate may from time to time direct:

Provided also that an application for the monthly allowance for the interim maintenance and expenses for proceeding under the second proviso shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within sixty days from the dale of the service of notice of the application to such person.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this Chapter,-
(a) "minor" means a person who, under the provisions of the Indian Majority Act, 1875 (9 of 1875) is deemed not to have attained his majority;
(b) "wife" includes a woman who has been divorced by, or has obtained a divorce from, her husband and has not remarried.

(2) Any such allowance for the maintenance or interim maintenance and expenses for proceeding shall be payable from the date of the order, or, if so ordered, from the date of the application for maintenance or interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding, as the case may be.

(3) If any person so ordered fails without sufficient cause to comply with the order, any such Magistrate may, for every breach of the order, issue a warrant for levying the amount due in the manner provided for levying fines, and may sentence such person, for the whole, or any part of each month's allowance for the maintenance or the interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding, as the case may be, remaining unpaid after the execution of the warrant, to imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or until payment if sooner made:

Provided that no warrant shall be issued for the recovery of any amount due under this section unless application be made to the Court to levy such amount within a period of one year from the date on which it became due:

Provided further that if such person offers to maintain his wife on condition of her living with him, and she refuses to live with him, such Magistrate may consider any grounds of refusal stated by her, and may make an order under this section notwithstanding such offer, if he is satisfied that there is just ground for so doing.

2) Sec. 126 - Procedure
(l) Proceedings under section 125 may be taken against any person in any district
a) where he is, or
b) where he or his wife resides, or
c) where he last resided with his wife, or as the case may be, with the mother of the illegitimate child.

(2) All evidence to such proceedings shall be taken in the 'presence of the person against whom an order for payment of maintenance is proposed to be made, or, when his personal attendance is dispensed with in the presence of his pleader, and shall be recorded in the manner prescribed for summons-cases:

Provided that if the Magistrate is satisfied that the person against whom an order for payment of maintenance is proposed to be made is willfully avoiding service, or willfully neglecting to attend the Court, the Magistrate may proceed to hear and determine the case ex parte and any order so made may be set aside for good cause shown on an application made within three months from the date thereof subject to such terms including terms as to payment of costs to the opposite party as the Magistrate may think just and proper.

(3) The Court in dealing with applications under section 125 shall have power to make such order as to costs as may be just.

3) Sec. 127 - Alteration in allowance
(l) On proof of a change in the circumstances of any person, receiving, under section 125 a monthly allowance for the maintenance or interim maintenance, or ordered under the same section to pay a monthly allowance for the maintenance, or interim maintenance, to his wife, child, father or mother, as the case may be, the Magistrate may make such alteration, as he thinks fit, in the allowance for the maintenance or the interim maintenance, as the case may be.

(2) Where it appears to the Magistrate that, in consequence of any decision of a competent Civil Court, any order made under section 125 should be cancelled or varied, he shall cancel the order or, as the case may be, vary the same accordingly.

(3) Where any order has been made under section 125 in favour of a woman who has been divorced by, or has obtained a divorce from, her husband, the Magistrate shall, if he -is satisfied that-

a) the woman has, after the date of such divorce, remarried, cancel such order as from the date of her remarriage;

b) the woman has been divorced by her husband and that she has received, whether before or after the date of the said order, the whole of the sum which, under any customary or personal law applicable to the parties, was payable on such divorce, cancel such order-

i) in the case where such sum was paid before such order, from the date on which such order was made,

ii) in any other case, from the date of expiry of the period, if any, for which maintenance has been actually paid by the husband to the woman;

c) the woman has obtained a divorce from her husband and that she had voluntarily surrendered her rights to maintenance or interim maintenance, as the case may be after her divorce, cancel the order from the date thereof.

(4) At the time of making any decree for the recovery of any maintenance or dowry by any person, to whom monthly allowance for the maintenance and interim maintenance or any of them has been ordered to be paid under section 125, the Civil Court shall take into account the sum which has been paid to, or recovered by, such person as monthly allowance for the maintenance and interim maintenance or any of them, as the case may be, in pursuance of the said order.

4) Sec. 128 - Enforcement of order of maintenance
A copy of the order of maintenance or interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding, as the case may be, shall be given without payment to the person in whose favour it is made, or to his guardian, if any, or to the person to whom the allowance for the maintenance or the allowance for the interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding, as the case may be, is to be paid; and such order may be enforced by any Magistrate in any place where the person against whom it is made may be, on such Magistrate being satisfied as to the identity of the parties and the non-payment of the allowance, or as the case may be, expenses, due.

(5) Sec. 198 - Prosecution for offences against marriage
(l) No Court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under Chapter XX of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) except upon a complaint made by some person aggrieved by the offence:

Provided that-
a) where such person is under the age of eighteen years, or is an idiot or a lunatic, or is from sickness or infirmity unable to make a complaint, or is a woman who, according to the local customs and manners, ought not to be compelled to appear in public, some other person may, with the leave of the Court, make a complaint on his or her behalf;

b) where such person is the husband and he is serving in any of the Armed Forces of the Union under conditions which are certified by his Commanding Officer as precluding him from obtaining leave of absence to enable him to make a complaint in person, some other person authorized by the husband in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (4) may make a complaint on his behalf;

c) where the person aggrieved by an offence punishable under section 494 or section 495 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) is the wife, complaint may be made on her behalf by her father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter or by her father's or mother's brother or sister, or with the leave of the Court, by any other person related to her by blood, marriage or adoption.

(2) For the purpose of sub-section (1), no person other than the husband of the woman shall be deemed to be aggrieved by any offence punishable under section 497 or section 498 of the said Code:

Provided that in the absence of the husband, some person who had care of the woman on his behalf at the time when such offence was committed may, with the leave of the Court, make a complaint on his behalf.

(3) When in any case falling under clause (a) of the proviso to sub-section (l), the complaint is sought to be made on behalf of a person under the age of eighteen years or of a lunatic by a person who has not been appointed or declared by a competent authority to be the guardian of the person of the minor or lunatic, and the Court is satisfied that there is a guardian so appointed or declared, the Court shall, before granting the application for leave, _ cause notice to be given to such guardian and give him a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

(4) The authorisation referred to in clause (b) of the proviso to sub-section (1), shall be in writing, shall be signed or otherwise attested by the husband, shall contain a statement to the effect that he has been informed of the allegations upon - which the complaint is to be founded, shall be countersigned by his Commanding Officer, and shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by that Officer to the effect

that leave of absence for the purpose of making a complaint in person cannot for the time being be granted to the husband.

(5) Any document purporting to be such an authorisation and complying with the provisions of sub-section (4), and any document purporting to be a certificate required by that sub-section shall, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to be genuine and shall be received in evidence.

(6) No Court shall take cognizance of an offence under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), where such offence consists of sexual inter-course by a man with his own wife, the wife being under fifteen years of age, if more than one year has elapsed from the date of the commission of the offence.

(7) The provisions of this section apply to the abetment of, or attempt to commit, an offence as they apply to the offence.

II. The Indian Penal Code, 1860

1) Sec. 304B - Dowry death
(l) Where the death of a woman is caused by any bums or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown, that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called "dowry death", and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death.

(2) Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.

2) Sec. 312 - Causing miscarriage
Whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry, shall, if such miscarriage be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term' which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both; and, if the woman be quick with child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation.-A woman who causes herself to miscarry, is within the meaning of this section.

3) Sec. 313 - Causing miscarriage without woman's consent
Whoever commits the offence defined in the last preceding section without the consent of the woman, whether the woman is quick with child or not, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

4) Sec. 314 - Death caused by act done with intent to cause miscarriage
Whoever, with intent to cause the miscarriage of a woman with child, does any act which causes the death of such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine;

If act done without woman's consent.-And if the act is done without the consent of the woman, shall be punished either with imprisonment for life, or with the punishment above mentioned.

Explanation-It is not essential to this offence that the offender should know that the act is likely to cause death.

5) Sec. 315 - Act done with intent to prevent child being born alive or to cause it to die after birth
Whoever before the birth of any child does any act with the intention of thereby preventing that child from being born alive or causing it to die after its birth, and does by such act prevent that child from being born alive, or causes it to die after its birth, shall, if such act be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the mother, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.

6) Sec. 316 - Causing death of quick unborn child by act amounting to culpable homicide
Whoever does any act under such circumstances, that if he thereby caused death he would be guilty of culpable homicide, and does by such act cause the death of a quick unborn child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Illustration - A, knowing that he is likely to cause the death of a pregnant woman, does an act which, if it caused the death of the woman, would amount to culpable homicide. The woman is injured, but does not die; but the death of an unborn quick child with which she is pregnant is thereby caused. A is guilty of the offence defined in this section.

7) Sec. 317 - Exposure and -abandonment of child under twelve years, by parent or person having care of it
Whoever being the father or mother of a child under the age of twelve years, or having the care of such child, shall expose or leave such child in any place with the intention of wholly abandoning such child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.

Explanation.-This section is not intended to prevent the trial of the offender for murder or culpable homicide, as the case may be, if the child dies in consequence of the exposure.

8) Sec. 318 - Concealment of birth by secret disposal of dead body
Whoever, by secretly burying or otherwise disposing of the death body of a child whether such child die before or after or during its birth, intentionally conceals or endeavour’s to conceal the birth of such child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

9) Sec. 354 - Assault or criminal force to woman with Intent to outrage her modesty
Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

10) Sec. 375 - Rape
A man is said to commit "rape" who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions;-
First - Against her will.
Secondly - Without her consent.
Thirdly - With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.
Fourthly - With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.
Fifthly - With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.
Sixthly - With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age.
Explanation -Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offence of rape.
Exception-Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.

11) Sec. 376 - Punishment for rape
(l) Whoever, except in the cases provided for by sub-section (2), commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine unless the women raped is his own wife and is not under twelve years of age, in which cases, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.

Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than seven years.
(2) Whoever,-
(a) being a police officer commits rape-
(i) within the limits of the police station to which he is appointed; or
(ii) in the premises of any 'station house whether or not situated in the police station to which he is appointed; or
(iii) on a woman in his custody or in the custody of a police officer subordinate to him; or

(b) being a public servant, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in his custody as such public servant or in the custody of a public servant subordinate to him; or
(c) being on the management or on the staff of a jail, remand home or other place of custody established by or under any law for the time being in force or of a woman's or children's institution takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on any inmate of such jail, remand home, place or institution; or

(d) being on the management or on the staff of a hospital, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in that hospital; or
(e) commits rape on a woman knowing her to be pregnant; or
(f) commits rape on a woman when she is under twelve years of age; or
(g) commits gang rape, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may be for life and shall also be liable to fine:

Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of either description for a term of less than ten years.

Explanation I.-Where a woman is raped by one or more in a group of persons acting in furtherance of their common intention, each of the persons shall be deemed to have committed gang rape within the meaning of this sub-section.

Explanation 2.-"Women's or children's institution" means an institution, whether called an orphanage or a home for neglected woman or children or a widows' home or by any other name, which is established and maintained for the reception and care of woman or' children.

Explanation 3.--"Hospital" means the precincts of the hospital and includes the precincts of any institution for the reception and treatment of persons during convalescence or of persons requiring medical attention or rehabilitation.

Para I: Punishment-Imprisonment for life or imprisonment for ten years and fine-l Cognizable-Non-bailable-Triable by Court of Session-Non-compoundable.
Para II: Punishment-Imprisonment for two years or fine or both-Non-Cognizable-Bailable-Triable by Court of Session-Non-compoundable.

12) Sec. 376 A - Intercourse by a man with his wife during separation
Whoever has sexual intercourse with his own wife, who is living separately from him under a decree of separation or under any custom or usage without her consent shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.

13) Sec. 377 - Unnatural offences
Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse ': against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation.-Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.

14) Sec. 494 - Marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife
Whoever, having a husband or wife living, marries in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of its taking place during the life of such husband or wife, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Exception.—This section does not extend to any person whose marriage with such husband or wife has been declared void by a Court of competent jurisdiction, nor to any person who contracts a marriage during the life of a former husband or wife, if such husband or wife, at the time of the subsequent marriage, shall have been continually absent from such person for the space of seven years, and shall not have been heard of by such person as being alive within that time provided the person contracting such subsequent marriage shall, before such marriage takes place, inform the person with whom such marriage is contracted of the real state of facts so far as the same are within his or her knowledge.

15) Sec. 498A - Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty
Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation.-For the purpose of this section, "cruelty" means-

(a) any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or

(b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.

16) Sec. 509 - Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman
Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, of that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

III. Indian Evidence Act, 1872

1) Sec. 113 A - Presumption as to abetment of suicide by a married woman
When the question is whether the commission of suicide by a woman had been abetted by her husband or any relative of her husband and it is shown that she had committed suicide within a period of seven years from the date of her marriage and that her husband or such relative of her husband had subjected her to cruelty, the Court may presume, having regard to all the other circumstances of the case, that such suicide had been abetted by her husband or by such relative of her husband.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this section, II cruelty" shall have the same as in section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

2) Sec. 113 B - Presumption as to dowry death
When the question is whether a person has committed the dowry death of a woman and it is shown that soon before her death such woman has been subjected by such person to cruelty or harassment for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, the Court shall presume that such person had caused the dowry death.

Explanation - For the purposes of this section, II dowry death" shall have the same meaning as in section 304B, of the Indian Penal Code, (45 of 1860).

3) Sec. 114 - Court may presume existence of certain facts
The Court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business, in their relation to the facts of the particular case.

Illustrations
The Court may presume-
(a) That a man who is in possession of stolen goods soon after the theft is either the thief or has received the goods knowing them to be stolen, unless he can account for his possession;
(b) That an accomplice is unworthy of credit, unless he is corroborated in material particulars;
(c) That a bill of exchange, accepted or endorsed, was accepted or endorsed for good consideration;
(d) That a thing or state of things which has been shown to be in existence within a period shorter than that within which such things or state of things usually cease to exist, is still in existence;
(e) That judicial and official acts have been regularly performed;
(f) That the common course of business has been followed in particular cases;
(g) That evidence which could be and is not produced would, if produced, be unfavourable to the person who withholds it;
(h) That if a man refuses to answer a question which he is not compelled to answer L by law, the answer, if given, would be unfavorable to him;
(i) That when a document creating an obligation is in the hands of the obligor, the obligation has been discharged.

But the Court shall also have regard to such facts as the following, in considering whether such maxims do or do not apply to the particular case before it:-
As to illustration (a)-A shop-keeper: has in his till a marked rupee soon after it was stolen, and cannot account for its possession specifically, but is continually receiving rupees in the course of his business;

As to illustration (b)-A, a person of the highest character, is tried for causing a man's death by an act of negligence in arranging certain machinery. B, a person of equally good character, who also took part in the arrangement, describes precisely what was done, and admits and explains the common carelessness of A and himself;

As to illustration (b )-A crime is committed by several persons. A, Band C, three of the criminals, are captured on the spot and kept apart from each other. Each gives an account of the crime implicating D, and the accounts corroborate each other in such a manner as to render previous concert highly improbable;

As to illustration (c)-A, the drawer. of a bill of exchange, was a man of business. B, the acceptor, was young and ignorant person, completely under A's influence;

As to illustration (d)-It is proved that a river ran in a certain course five years ago, but it is known that there have been floods since that time which might change its course;

As to illustration (e)-A judicial act, the regularity' of which is in question, was performed under exceptional circumstances;

As to illustration (f)-The question is, whether a letter was received. It is shown to have been posted, but the usual course of the post was interrupted by disturbances;

As to illustration (g)-A man refuses to produce a document which would bear on a contract of small importance on which he is sued, but which might also injure the feelings and reputation of his family;

As to illustration (h)-A man refuses to answer a question which he is not compelled by law to answer, but the answer to it might cause loss to him in matters unconnected with the matter in relation to which it is asked;

As to illustration (i)-A bond is in possession of the obligor, but the circumstances of the case are such that he may have stolen it.

4) Sec. 114A - Presumption as to absence of consent in certain prosecutions for rape
In a prosecution for rape under clause (a) or clause (b) or clause (c) or clause (d) or clause (e) or clause (g) of sub-section (2) of section 3{6 of the Indian Penal Code, (45 of 1860), where sexual intercourse by the accused is proved and the question is whether it was without the consent of the woman alleged to have been raped and she states in her evidence before the Court that she did not consent, the Court shall presume that she did not consent.

III. Personal Laws

I. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

1) Sec. 5 - Conditions for a Hindu marriage
A marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus, if the following conditions are fulfilled, mainly:-
(i) neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage;
(ii) at the time of the marriage, neither party-

(a) is incapable of giving a valid consent to it in consequence of unsoundness of mind; or
(b) though capable of giving a valid consent, has been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the procreation of children; or

(c) has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity;
(iii) the bridegroom has completed the age of twenty-one years and the bride, the age of eighteen years at the time of the marriage;
(iv) the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two;
(v) the parties are not sapindas of each other, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two.

2) Sec. 7 - Ceremonies for a Hindu marriage
(l) A Hindu marriage may be solemnized in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of either party thereto.

(2) Where such rites and ceremonies include the saptpadi (that is, the taking of seven steps by the bridegroom and the bride jointly before the sacred fire), the marriage becomes complete and binding when the seventh step is taken.

3) Sec. 8 - Registration of Hindu marriages
(1) For the purpose of facilitating the proof of Hindu marriages, the State Government may make rules providing that the parties to any such marriage may have the particulars relating to their marriage entered in such manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed in a Hindu Marriage Register kept for the purpose.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the State Government may, if it is of opinion that it is necessary or expedient so to do, provide that the entering of the particulars referred. to in sub-section (1) shall be compulsory in the State or in any part thereof, whether in all cases or in such cases as may be specified, and where any such direction has been issued, any person contravening any rule made in this behalf shall be punishable with fine which may extend to twenty-five rupees. (3) All rules made under this section shall be laid before the State Legislature, as soon as may be, after they are made.

(4) The Hindu Marriage Register shall at all reasonable times be open for inspection, and shall be admissible as evidence of the statements therein contained and certified extracts therefrom shall, on application, be given by the Registrar on payment to him of the prescribed fee.

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, the validity of any Hindu marriage shall in no way be affected by the omission to make the entry.

4) Sec. 9 - Restitution of conjugal rights
When either the husband or the wife has, without reasonable excuse, withdrawn from the society of the other, the aggrieved party may apply, by petition to the district court, for restitution of conjugal rights and the court, on being satisfied of the truth of the statements made in such petition and that there is no legal ground why the application should not be granted, may decree restitution of conjugal rights accordingly.

Explanation- Where a question arises whether there has been reasonable excuse for withdrawal from the society, the burden of proving reasonable excuse shall be on the person who has withdrawn from the society.

5) Sec. 10 - Judicial separation
(l) Either party to a marriage, whether solemnized before or after the commencement of this Act, may present a petition praying for a decree for judicial separation on any of the grounds specified in sub-section (1) of section 13, and in the case of a wife also on any of the grounds specified in sub-section (2) thereof, as grounds on which a petition for divorce might have been presented.

(2) Where a decree for judicial separation has been passed, it shall no longer be obligatory for the petitioner to cohabit with the respondent, but the court may, on the application by petition of either party and on being satisfied of the truth of the statements made in such petition, rescind the decree if it considers it just and reasonable to do so.

6) Sec. 11 - Void marriages
Any marriage solemnised after the commencement of this Act shall be null and void and may, on a petition presented by either party thereto against the other party, be so declared by a decree of nullity if it contravenes anyone of the conditions specified in clauses (i), (iv) and (v) of section 5.

7) Sec. 12 - Voidable marriages

(1) Any marriage solemnised, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be voidable and may be annulled by a decree of nullity on any of the following grounds, namely:-

(a) that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the impotence of the respondent; or

(b) that the marriage is in contravention of the condition specified in clause (ii) of section 5; or

(c) that the consent of the petitioner, or where the consent of the guardian in marriage of the petitioner was required under section 5 as it stood immediately before the commencement of the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Act, 1978 (2 of 1978), the consent of such guardian was obtained by force or by fraud as to the nature of the ceremony or as to any material fact or circumstance concerning the respondent; or

(d) that the respondent was at the time of the marriage pregnant by some person other than the petitioner.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), no petition for annulling a marriage-
(a) on the ground specified in clause (c) of sub-section (1) shall be entertained if-
(i) the petition is presented more than one year after the force had ceased to operate of, as the case may be, the fraud had been discovered; or
(ii) the petitioner has, with his or her full consent, lived with the other party to the marriage as husband or wife after the force had ceased to operate or, as the case may be, the fraud had been discovered;

(b) on the ground specified in clause (d) of sub-section (1) shall be entertained unless the court is satisfied-
(i) that the petitioner was at the time of the marriage ignorant of the facts alleged;
(ii) that proceedings have been instituted in the case of a marriage solemnised before the commencement of this Act within one year of such commencement and in the case of marriages solemnised after such commencement within one year from the date of the marriage; and

(iii) that marital intercourse with the consent of the petitioner has not taken place since the discovery by the petitioner of the existence of the said ground.

8) Sec. 13 - Divorce
(1) Any "marriage solemnised, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party-
(i) has, after the solemnization of the marriage, had voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse; or
(ia) has, after the solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty; or
(ib) has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition; or
(ii) has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion La another religion; or
(iii) has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.

Explanation.-An this clause,-
(a) the expression "mental disorder" means mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder or any other disorder or disability of mind and includes schizophrenia;

(b) the expression "psychopathic disorder" means a persistent disorder or disability of mind (whether or not including sub-normality of intelligence) which results in abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the other party, and whether or not it requires or . is susceptible to medical treatment; or
(iv) has been suffering from a virulent and incurable form of leprosy; or
(v) has been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form; or
(vi) has renounced the world by entering any religious order; or
(vii) has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or morel by those persons who would naturally have heard of it, had that party been alive;

Explanation-- In this sub-section, the expression "desertion" means the desertion of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage without reasonable cause and without the consent or against the wish of such party, and includes the willful neglect of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage, and its grammatical variations and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.

(1A) Either party to a marriage, whether solemnised before or after the commencement of this Act, may also present a petition for the dissolution of the marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground-

(i) that there has been no resumption of cohabitation as between the parties to the marriage for a period of one year or upwards after the passing of a decree for judicial separation in a proceeding to which they were parties; or

(ii) that there has been no restitution of conjugal rights as between the parties to the marriage for a period of one year or upwards after the passing of a decree for restitution of conjugal rights in a proceeding to which they were parties.

(2) A wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground,-
(i) in the case of any marriage solemnised before the commencement of this Act, that the husband had married again before such commencement or that any other wife of the husband married before such commencement was alive at the time of the solemnisation of the marriage of the petitioner:

Provided that in either case the other wife is alive at the time of the presentation of the petition; or

(ii) that the husband has, since the solemnisation of the marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality; or

(iii) that in a suit under section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (78 of 1956), or in a proceeding under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) [or under the corresponding section 488 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,. 1898 (5 of 1898)], a decree or order, as the case .may be, has been passed against the husband awarding maintenance to the wife notwithstanding that she was living apart and that since the passing of such decree or order, cohabitation between the parties has not been resumed for one year or upwards;

(iv) that her marriage (whether consummated or not) was solemnised before she attained the age of fifteen years and she has repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of eighteen years.

Explanation.-This clause applies whether the marriage was solemnised before or after the commencement" of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976 (68 of 1976).

9) Sec. 13A - Alternate relief in divorce proceedings
In any proceeding under this Act, on a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce, except in so far as the petition is founded on the grounds mentioned in clauses (ii), (vi) and (vii) of sub-section (1) of section 13, the court may, if it considers it just so to do having regard to the circumstances of the case, pass instead a decree for judicial separation.

10) Sec. 13B - Divorce by mutual consent
(l) Subject to the provisions of this Act a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce may be presented to the district court by both the parties to a marriage together, whether such marriage was solemnised before or after the commencement" of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976 (68 of 1976), on the ground that they have been living separately for a period of one year or more, that they have not been able to live together and that they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved.

(2) On the motion of both the parties made not earlier than six months after the date of the presentation of the petition referred to in sub-section (1) and not later than eighteen months after the said date, if the petition is not withdrawn in the meantime, the court shall, on being satisfied, after hearing the parties and after making such inquiry as it thinks fit, that a marriage has been solemnised and that the averments in the petition are true, pass a decree of divorce declaring the marriage to be dissolved with effect from the date of the decree.

11) Sec. 14 - Petition for divorce to be presented within one year of marriage
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, it shall not be competent for any court to entertain any petition for dissolution of a marriage by a decree of divorce, unless at the date of the presentation of the petition one year has elapsed since the date of the marriage:

Provided that the court may, upon application made to it in accordance with such rules as may be made by the High Court in that behalf, allow a petition to be presented before one year has' elapsed since the date of the marriage on the ground that the case is one of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or of exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent, but if it appears to the court at the hearing of the petition that the petitioner obtained leave to present the petition by any misrepresentation or concealment of the nature of the case, the court may, if it pronounces a decree, do so subject to the condition that the decree shall not have effect until after the expiry of one year from the date of the marriage or may dismiss the petition without prejudice to any petition which may be brought after the expiration of the said one year upon the same or substantially the same facts as those alleged in support of the petition so dismissed.

(2) In disposing of any application under this section for leave to present a ,. petition for divorce before the expiration of one year from the date of the marriage, the court shall have regard to the interests of any children of the marriage and to the question whether there is a reasonable probability of a reconciliation between the parties before the expiration of the said one year.

12) Sec. 15 - Divorced persons when may marry again
When a marriage has been dissolved by a decree of divorce and either there is no right of appeal against the decree or, if there is such a right of appeal, the time for appealing has expired without an appeal having been presented, or an appeal has been presented but has been dismissed, it shall be lawful for either party to the marriage to marry again.

13) Sec. 17 - Punishment of bigamy
Any marriage between two Hindus solemnized after the commencement of this Act is void if at the date of such marriage either party had a husband or wife living; and the provisions of sections 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), shall apply accordingly.

14) Sec. 22 - Proceedings may be in camera and may not be printed or published
(1) a proceeding under this Act shall be conducted in camera if either party so desires or if the court so thinks fit to do, and it shall not be lawful for any person to print or publish any matter in relation to any such proceeding except with the previous permission of the court.

(2) If any person prints or publishes any matter in contravention of the provisions contained in sub-section (1), he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.

15) Sec 24 - Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings
Where in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the court that either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, it may, on the application of the wife or the husband, order the respondent to pay to the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly during the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner's own income and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the court to be reasonable:

Provided that the application for the payment of the expenses of the proceeding and such monthly sum during the proceeding, shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within sixty days from the date of service of notice on the wife or the husband, as the case may be.

16) Sec. 25 - Permanent alimony and maintenance
(1) Any court exercising jurisdiction under this Act may, at the time of passing any decree or at any time subsequent thereto, on application made to it for the purpose by either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, order that the respondent shall 1[***] pay to the applicant for her or his maintenance and support such gross sum or such monthly or periodical sum for a term not exceeding the life of the applicant as, having regard to the respondent's own income and other property, if any, the income and other property of the applicant 2[, the conduct of the parties and other circumstances of the case], it may seem to the court to be just, and any such payment may be secured, if necessary, by a charge on the immovable property of the respondent.

(2) If the court is satisfied that there is a change in the circumstances of either party at any time after it has made an order under sub-section (1), it may at the instance of either party, vary, modify or rescind any such order in such manner as the court may deem just.

(3) If the court is satisfied that the party in whose favour an order has been made under this section has re-married or, if such party is the wife, that she has not remained chaste, or, if such party is the husband, that he has had sexual intercourse with any woman outside wedlock, it may at the instance of the other party vary, modify or rescind any such order in such manner as the court may deem just.

17) Sec. 26 - Custody of children
In any proceeding under this Act, the court may, from time to time, pass such interim orders and make such provisions in the decree as it may deem just and proper with respect to the custody, maintenance and education of minor children, consistently with their wishes, wherever possible, and may, after the decree, upon application by petition for the purpose, make from time to time, all such orders and provisions with respect to the custody, maintenance and education of such children as might have been made by such decree or interim orders in case the proceeding for obtaining such decree were still pending, and the court may also from time to time revoke, suspend or vary any such orders and provisions previously made.

Provided that the application with respect to the maintenance and education of the minor children, pending the proceeding for obtaining such decree, shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within sixty days from the date of service of notice on the respondent.

18) Sec. 27 - Disposal of property

In any proceeding under this Act, the court may make such provisions in the decree as it deems just and proper with respect to any property presented, at or about the time of marriage, which may belong jointly to both the husband and the wife.

II. Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956

1) Sec. 18 - Maintenance of wife
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained by her husband during her lifetime.

(2) A Hindu wife shall be entitled to live separately from her husband without forfeiting her claim to maintenance -
(a) If he is guilty of desertion, that is to say, of abandoning her without reasonable cause and without her consent or against her wish, or of willfully neglecting her;
(b) If he has treated her with such cruelty as to cause a reasonable apprehension in her mind that it will be harmful or injurious to live with her husband;
(c) If he is suffering from a virulent from of leprosy;
(d) If he has any other wife living ;
(e) If he keeps a concubine in the same house in which his wife is living or habitually resides with a concubine elsewhere;
(f) if he has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion ;
(g) if there is any other cause justifying her living separately;

(3) A Hindu wife shall not be entitled to separate residence and maintenance from her husband if she is unchaste or ceases to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion.

2) Sec.19 - Maintenance of Widowed daughter-in-law
(1) A Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained after the death of her husband by her father-in-law.
PROVIDED and to the extent that she is unable to maintain herself out of her own earnings or other property or, where she has no property of her own, is unable to obtain maintenance -
(a) from the estate of her husband or her father or mother, or
(b) from her son or daughter, if any, or his or her estate.

(2) Any obligation under sub-section (1) shall not be enforceable if the father- in- law has not the means to do so from any coparcenary property in his possession out of which the daughter-in-law has not obtained any share, and any such obligation shall cease on the re-marriage of the daughter-in-law.

III. The Hindu Succession Act, 1956

1) Sec. 6 - Devolution of interest in coparcenary property
(l) On and from the commencement of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, in a Joint Hindu family governed by the Mitakshara law, the daughter of a coparcener shall,-
(a) by birth become a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son;
(b) have the same rights in the coparcenary property as she would have had if she had been a son;
(c) be subject to the same liabilities in respect of the said coparcenary property as that of a son, and any reference to a Hindu Mitakshara coparcener shall be deemed to include a reference to a daughter of a coparcener:

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall affect or invalidated any disposition or alienation including any partition or testamentary disposition of property which had taken place before the 20th day of December, 2004.

(2) Any property to which a female Hindu becomes entitled by virtue of sub-section (1) shall be held by her with the incidents of coparcenary ownership and shall be regarded, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force in, as property capable of being disposed of by her by testamentary disposition.

(3) Where a Hindu dies after the commencement of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, his interest in the property of a Joint Hindu family governed by the Mitakshara law, shall devolve by testamentary or intestate succession, as the case may be, under this Act and not by survivorship, and the coparcenary property shall be deemed to have been divided as if a partition had) taken place and,

(a) the daughter is allotted the same share as is allotted to a son;

(b) the share of the pre-deceased son or a pre-deceased daughter, as they would have got had they been alive at the time of partition, shall be allotted to the surviving child of such pre-deceased son or of such pre-deceased daughter; and

(c) the share of the pre-deceased child of a pre-deceased son or of a pre-deceased daughter, as such child would have got had he or she been alive at the time of the partition, shall be allotted to the child of such pre-deceased child of the pre-deceased son or a pre-deceased daughter, as the case may be.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this 'sub-section, the interest of a Hindu Mitakshara coparcener shall be deemed to be the share in the property that would have been allotted to him if a partition of the property had taken place immediately before his death, irrespective of whether he was entitled to claim partition or not.

(4) After the commencement* of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, no court shall recognise any right to proceed against a son, grandson or great-grandson for the recovery of any debt due from his father, grandfather or great-grandfather solely on the ground of the pious obligation under the Hindu law, of such son, grandson or great-grandson to discharge any such debt:

Provided that in the case of any debt contracted before the commencement of the Hindu Succession- (Amendment) Act, 2005, nothing contained in this . sub-section shall affect-

(a) the right of any creditor to proceed against the son, grandson or great-grandson, as the case may be; or

(b) any alienation made in respect of or in satisfaction of, any such debt, and any such right or alienation shall be enforceable under the rule of pious obligation in the same manner and to the same extent as it would have been enforceable as if the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 had not been enacted.

Explanation.-For the purposes of clause (a), the expression "son", "grandson" or "great-grandson" shall be deemed to refer to the son, grandson or great-grandson, as the case may be, who was born or adopted prior to the commencement of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.

(5) Nothing contained in this. section shall apply to a partition, which has been effected before the 20th day of December, 2004.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this section "partition" means any partition made by execution of a deed of partition duly registered under the Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908) or partition effected by a decree of a court.

2) Sec. 10 - Distribution of property among heirs in class I of the Schedule
The property of an intestate shall be divided among the heirs in class I of the Schedule in accordance with the following rules :
Rule 1-The intestate's widow, or if there are more widows than one, all the widows together, shall take one share.
Rule 2- The surviving sons and daughters and the mother of the intestate shall each take one share.
Rule 3- The heirs in the branch of each pre-deceased son or each pre-deceased daughter of the intestate shall take between them one share.
Rule 4- The distribution of the share referred to in Rule 3-

(i) among the heirs in the branch of pre-deceased son shall be so made that his widow (or widow together) and the surviving sons and daughters get equal portions; and the branch of his predeceased sons gets the same portion;

(ii) among the heirs in the branch of the pre-deceased daughter shall be so made that the surviving sons and daughters get equal portions.

3) Sec. 14 - Property of a female Hindu to be her absolute property
(l) Any property possessed by a female Hindu, whether acquired before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be held by her as full owner thereof and not as a limited owner.
Explanation.-In this sub-section, "property" includes both movable and immovable property acquired by a female Hindu by inheritance or devise, or at a partition, or in lieu of maintenance or arrears of maintenance, or by gift from any person, whether a relative or not, before, at or after her marriage, or by her L own skill or exertion, or by purchase or by prescription, or in any other manner whatsoever, and also any such property held by her as stridhana immediately before the commencement of this Act.

(2) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall apply to any property acquired by way of gift or under a will or any other instrument or under a decree or order of a civil court or under an award where the terms of the gift, will or other instrument or the decree, order or award prescribe a restricted estate in such property.

4) Sec. 15- General rules of succession in the case of female Hindus
(I) The property of a female Hindu dying intestate shall devolve according to the rules set out in section 16,-

(a) firstly, upon the sons and daughters (including the children of any pre-deceased son or daughter) and the husband; (b) secondly, upon the heirs of the husband;
(c) thirdly, upon the mother and father;
(d) fourthly, upon the heirs of the father; and (e) lastly, upon the heirs of the mother.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1),-
(a) any property inherited by a female Hindu from her father or mother shall devolve, in the absence of any son or daughter of the deceased (including the children of any pre-deceased son or daughter) not upon the other heirs referred to in sub-section (1) in the order specified therein, but upon the heirs of the father; and

(b) any property inherited by a female Hindu from her husband or from her father-in-law shall devolve, in the absence of any son or daughter of the deceased (including the children of any pre-deceased son or daughter) not upon the other heirs referred to in sub-section (1) in the order specified therein, but upon the heirs of the husband.

5) Sec. 16 - Order of succession and manner of distribution among heirs of a female Hindu
The order of succession among the heirs referred to in section 15 shall be, and the distribution of the intestates property among those heirs shall take place according to the following rules, namely:-

Rule I.-Among the heirs specified in sub-section (1) of section 15, those in one entry shall be preferred to those in any succeeding entry and those included in the same entry shall take simultaneously.

Rule 2.-If any son or daughter of the intestate had pre-deceased the intestate leaving his or her own children alive at the time of the intestate's death, the children of such son or daughter shall take between them the share which such son or daughter would have taken if living at the intestate's death.

Rule 3.- The devolution of the property of the intestate on the heirs referred to in clauses (b), (d) and (e) of sub-section (1) and in sub-section (2) to section 15 shall be in the same order and according to the same rules as would have applied if the property had been the father's or the mother's or the husband's as the case may be, and such person had died intestate in respect thereof immediately after the intestate's death.

6) Sec. 23 - Special provision respecting dwelling houses
Where a Hindu intestate has left surviving him or her both male and female heirs specified in class I of the Schedule and his or her property includes a dwelling house wholly occupied by members of his or her family, then, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the right of any such female heir to claim partition of the dwelling-house shall not arise until the male heirs choose to divide their respective shares therein; but the female heir shall be entitled to a right of residence therein:

PROVIDED that where such female heir is a daughter, she shall be entitled to a right of residence in the dwelling house only if she is unmarried or has been deserted by or has separated from her husband or is a widow.

IV. The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956

1) Sec. 6 - Natural guardians of a Hindu minor
The natural guardians of a Hindu, minor, in respect of the minor's person as well as in respect of the minor's property (excluding his or her undivided interest in joint family property), are -
(a) in the case of a boy or an unmarried girl—the father, and after him, the mother: provided that the custody of a minor who has not completed the age of five years shall ordinarily be with the mother;
(b) in the case of an illegitimate boy or an illegitimate unmarried girl - the mother, and after her, the father;
(c) in the case of a married girl - the husband;

Provided that no person shall be entitled to act as the natural guardian of a minor under the provisions of this section—
(a) if he has ceased to be a Hindu, or
(b) if he has completely and finally renounced the world by becoming a hermit (vanaprastha) or an ascetic (yati or sanyasi)

Explanation.—In this section, the expressions 'father' and 'mother' do not include a step-father and a step-mother.

2) Sec. 7 - Natural guardianship of adopted son
The natural guardianship of an adopted son who is a minor passes, on adoption, to the adoptive father and after him to the adoptive mother.

V. Muslim Women (Protection of Right on Divorce) Act, 1986

1) Sec. 3 – Right over deferred Dower, Maher and other properties given to her at the time of her marriage and also for maintenance allowance during the Iddat period.

2) Sec. 4 – Provision for maintenance by relative of woman on divorce
Order for payment of maintenance

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, where a Magistrate is satisfied that a divorced woman has not re-married and is not able to maintain herself after the iddat period, he may make an order directing such of her relatives as would be entitled to inherit her property on her death according to Muslim law to pay such reasonable and fair maintenance to her as he may determine fit and proper, having regard to the needs of the divorced woman, the standard of life enjoyed by her during her marriage and the means of such relatives and such maintenance shall be payable by such relatives in the proportions in which they would inherit her property and at such periods as he may specify in his order:

Provided that where such divorced woman has children, the Magistrate shall order only such children to pay maintenance to her, and in the event of any such children being unable to pay such maintenance, the Magistrate shall order the parents of such divorced woman to pay maintenance to her:

Provided further that if any of the parents is unable to pay his or her share of the maintenance ordered by the Magistrate on the ground of his or her not having the means to pay the same, the Magistrate, on proof of such inability being furnished to him, order that the share of such relatives in the maintenance ordered by him be paid by such of the other relatives as may appear to the Magistrate to have the means of paying the same in such proportions as the Magistrate may thin fit to order.

(2) Where a divorced woman is unable to maintain herself and she has no relatives as mentioned in sub-section (1) or such relatives or any one of them have not enough means to pay the maintenance ordered the Magistrate or the other relatives have not the means to pay the shares of those relatives whose shares have been ordered by the Magistrate to be paid by such other relatives under the second proviso to sub-section(1), the Magistrate may, by order direct the State of Wakf Board established under Section 9 of the Wakf Act, 1954, or under any other law for the time being in force in a State functioning in the area in which the woman resides, to pay such maintenance as determined by him under sub-section (1) or, as the case may be, to pay the shares of such of the relatives who are unable to pay, at such periods as he may specify in his order.

 

IV. Civil Laws

1. Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
2. The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

2.1 Sec. 2 - Definitions
(c) "legal service" includes the rendering of any service in the conduct of any case or other legal proceeding before any court or other authority or tribunal and the giving of advice on any legal matter.

2.2 Entitlement To Legal Services
1. Sec. 12 - Criteria for giving legal services
Every person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled to legal services under this Act if that person, is-
(a) a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe
(b) a victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution
(c) a women or a child
(d) a person with disability as defined in clause (i) of section 2 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (l of 1996)
(e) a person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster or
(f) an industrial workman or
(g) in custody, including custody in a protective home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (104 of 1956) or in a juvenile home within the meaning of clause (j) of section 2 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 (53 of 1986) or in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987 (14 of 1987) or
(h) in receipt of annual income less than rupees nine thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the State Government, if the case is before a court other than the Supreme Court, and less than rupees twelve thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the Central Government, if the case is before the Supreme Court.

2. Sec. 13 - Entitlement to legal services
(1) Persons who satisfy all or any of the criteria specified in section 12 shall be entitled to receive legal services provided that the concerned Authority is satisfied that such person has a prima facie case to prosecute or to defend.

(2) An affidavit made by a person as to his income may be regarded as sufficient for making him eligible to the entitlement of legal services under this Act unless the concerned Authority has reason to disbelieve such affidavit.

V. Relevant Provisions of Allied Acts and Report

1. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

1. Sec. 2 - Definition of dowry
In this Act, "dowry- means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly

(a) by one party to a marriage to the other - party to the marriage ,or

(b) by the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person, to either party to the marriage or to any other person at or before (or any time after the marriage], (in connection with the marriage of the said parties but does not include] dower or mehr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) applies.

Explanation II. The expression "valuable security" has the same meaning as in section 30 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

2. Sec. 3 - Penalty for giving or taking dowry
(1) If any person, after the commencement of this Act, gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry, he shall be punishable [with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than [five years, and with fine which shall not be less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever is more:

Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than [five years].
(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall apply to or, in relation to,-

(a) presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride (without any demand having been made in that behalf):

Provided that such presents are entered in a list maintained in accordance with the rules made under this Act
(b) presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bridegroom (without any demand having been made in that behalf):

Provided that such presents are entered in a list maintained in accordance with the rules made under this Act:

Provided further that where such presents are made by or on behalf of the bride or any person related to the bride, such presents are of a customary nature and, the value thereof is not excessive having regard to the financial status of the person by whom, or on whose behalf, such presents are given.

3. Sec. 4 - Penalty for Demanding Dowry

If any person demands directly or indirectly, from the parents or other relatives or guardian of a bride or bridegroom, as the case may be, any dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months what which may extend to two years and with fine which may extended to ten thousand rupees.

Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months.

2. Commission of Sati (Prevention Act), 1987

1) Sec. 2 - Definitions

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires.-

(a) "Code" means the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974)

(b) "glorification" in relation to sati, whether such sati, was committed before or after the commencement of this Act, includes, among other things.-

(i) the observance of any ceremony or the taking out of a procession in connection with the commission of sati or

(ii) the supporting, justifying or propagating the practice of sati in any manner or

(iii) the arranging of any function to eulogize the person who has committed sati or

(iv) the creation of a trust, or the collection of funds, or the construction of temple or other structure or the carrying on of any form of worship or the performance of any ceremony thereat, with a view to perpetuate the honour of, or to preserve the memory of, a person who has committed sati

(c) "sati" means the burning or burying alive of –

(i) any widow along with the body of her deceased husband or any other relative or with any article, object or thing associated with the husband or such relative or

(ii) any woman along with the body of any of her relatives, irrespective of whether such burning or burying is claimed to be voluntary on the part of the widow or the women or other-wise

"Special Court" means a Special Court constituted under Sec.9

(e) "temple" includes any building or other structure, whether roofed or not, constructed or made to preserve the memory or a person in respect of whom sati has been committed or used or intended to be used for the carrying on of any form of worship or for the observance of any ceremony in connection with such commission.

(2) Words and expressions used but not defined in this Act and defined in the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or in the Code shall have the same meanings as are respectively assigned to them in the Indian Panel Code or the Code.

Punishment for offences relating to Sati

2) Sec. 3 - Attempt to commit sati
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), whoever attempts to commit sati and does any act towards such commission shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both:

Provided that the Special Court trying an offence under this section shall, before convicting any person, take into consideration the circumstances leading to the commission of the offence, the act committed, the state of mind of the person charge of the offence at the time of the commission of the act and all other relevant factors.

3) Sec. 4 - Abetment of sati
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) , if any person commits sati, whoever abets the commission of such sati, either directly or indirectly, shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.

(2) If any person attempts to commit sati, whoever abets such attempt, either directly or indirectly, shall be punishable with imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, any of the following acts or the like shall also be deemed to be an abetment, namely:

(a) any inducement to a widow or woman to get her burnt or buried alive along with the body of her deceased husband or with any other relative or with any article, object or thing associated with the husband or such relative, irrespective of whether she is in a fit state of mind or is labouring under a state of intoxication or stupefaction or other cause impeding the exercise of her free will

(b) making a widow or woman believe that the commission of sati would result in some spiritual benefit to her or her deceased husband or relative or the general well being of the family

(c) encouraging a widow or woman to remain fixed in her resolve to commit sati and thus instigating her to commit sati

(d) participating in any procession in connection with the commission of sati or aiding the widow or woman in her decision to commit sati by taking her along with the body of her deceased husband or relative to the cremation or burial ground

(e) being present at the place where sati is committed as an active participant to such commission or to any ceremony connected with it

(f) preventing or obstructing the widow or woman from saving herself from being burnt or buried alive

(g) obstructing, or interfering with, the police in the discharge of its duties of taking any steps to prevent the commission of sati.

4) Sec. 5 - Punishment for glorification of sati
Whoever does any act for the glorification of sati shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to seven years and with fine which shall not be less than five thousand rupees but which may extend to thirty thousand rupees.

5) Sec. 6 - Power to prohibit certain acts
(1) where the Collector or the District Magistrate is of the opinion that sati or any abetment thereof is being, or is about to be committed, he may, by order, prohibit the doing of any act towards the commission of sati by any person in any area or areas specified in the order.

(2) The Collector or the District Magistrate may also, by order, prohibit the glorification in any manner of sati by any person in any area or areas specified in the order.

(3) Whoever contravenes any order made under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall, if such contravention is not punishable under any other provision of this Act, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to seven years and with fine which shall not be less than five thousand rupees but which may extend to thirty thousand rupees.

6) Sec. 7 - Power to remove certain temples or other structures
(1) The State Government may, if it is satisfied that in that any temple or other structure which has been in existence for not less than twenty years, any form of worship or the performance of any ceremony is carried on with a view to perpetuate the honour of or to preserve the memory of, any person in respect of whom sati has been committed, by order, direct the removal of such temple or other structure.

(2) The Collector or the District magistrate may, if he is satisfied that in any temple or other structure, other than that referred to in sub-section (1), any form of worship or the performance of any ceremony is carried on with a view to perpetuate the honour of, or to preserve the memory of, any person in respect of whom sati has been committed, by order, direct the removal of such temple or other structure.

(3) Where any order under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) is not complied with, the State Government or the Collector or the District Magistrate, as the case may be, shall cause the temple or other structure to be removed through a police officer not below the rank of a Sub-Inspector at the cost of the defaulter.

7) Sec. 8 - Power to seize certain properties
(1) Where the Collector or the District Magistrate has reason to believe that any funds or property have been collected or acquired for the purpose of glorification of the commission of any sati or which may be found under circumstances which create suspicion of the commission of any offence under this Act, he may seize such funds or property.

(2) Every Collector or District Magistrate acting under sub-section (1) shall report the seizure to the Special Court, if any, constituted to try any offence in relation to which such funds or property were collected or acquired and shall await the orders of such Special Court as to the disposal of the same.

8) Sec. 9 - Trial of offences under this Act

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, all offences under this Act shall be triable only by a Special Court constituted under this section.

(2) The State Government shall, by notification in the official Gazette, constitute one or more Special Courts for the trial of offences under this Act and every Special Court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of the whole or such part of the State as may be specified in the notification.

(3) A Special Court shall be presided over by a judge to be appointed by the State Government with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court.

(4) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a judge of a Special Court unless he is, immediately before such appointment, a Sessions Judge or an Additional Sessions Judge in any State.

9) Sec. 10 - Special Public Prosecutions
(1) For every Special Court, the State Government shall appoint a person to be a Special Public Prosecutor.

(2) A person shall be eligible to be appointed as a Special Public Prosecutor under this section only if he had been in practice as an advocate for not less than seven years or has held any post for a period of not less than seven years under the State requiring special knowledge of law.

(3) Every person appointed as a Special Public Prosecutor under this section shall be deemed to be a Public Prosecutor within the meaning of Clause of Sec. 2 of the Code and the Provisions of the Code shall have effect accordingly.

10) Sec. 11 - Procedure and powers of Special Courts
(1) A Special Court may take cognizance of any offence, without the accused being committed to it for trial, upon receiving a complaint of facts which constitute such offence, or upon a police report of such facts.

(2) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, a Special Court shall for the purpose of the trial of any offence, have all the powers of a Court of Session and shall try such offence as if it were a Court of Session, so far as may be, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in the Code for trial before a Court of Session.

11) Sec. 12 - Power of Special Court with respect to other offences
(1) When trying any offence under this Act, a Special Court may also try any other offence with which the accused may, under the Code, be charged at the same trial if the offence is connected with such other offence.

(2) If, in the course of any trial of any offence under this Act it is found that the accused person has committed any other offence under this Act or any other law, a Special Court may convict such person also of such other offence and pass any sentence authorised by this Act or such other law for the punishment thereof.

(3) In every inquiry or trial, the proceedings shall be held as expeditiously as possible and, in particular, where the examination of witnesses has begun, the same shall be continued from day to day until all the witnesses in attendance have been examined, and if any Special Court finds the adjournment of the same beyond the following date to be necessary, it shall record its reasons for doing so.

12) Sec. 13 - Forfeiture of funds or property
Where a person has been convicted of an offence under this Act, the Special Court trying such offence may, if it is considered necessary so to do, declare that any funds or property seized under Sec. 8 shall stand forfeited to the State.

13) Sec. 16 - Burden of proof
Where any person is prosecuted of an offence under Sec. 4, the burden of proving that he had not committed the offence under the said section shall be on him.

14) Sec. 18 - Person convicted of an offence under Sec. 4 to be disqualified form inheriting certain properties
A person convicted of an offence under sub-section (1) of Sec. 4 in relation to the commission of sati shall be disqualified from inheriting the property of the person in respect of whom such sati has been committed or the property of any other person which he would have been entitled to inherit on the death of person in respect of whom such sati has been committed.

Amendment of Act 43 of 1951.- In the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

(a) in Sec. 8, in sub-section (2) after the proviso, the following proviso shall be inserted, namely

"Provided further that a person convicted by a Special Court for the contravention of any of the provisions of the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987 shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of five years since his release"

(b) in Sec. 123 after Cl.(3-A), the following clause shall be inserted, namely:

"(3-B) The propagation of the practice or the commission of sati or its glorification by a candidate or his agent or any other person with the consent of the candidate or his election agent for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate or for prejudicially affecting the election of any candidate.

Explanation.- For the purpose of this clause, "sati" and "glorification" in relation to sati shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987."

3. The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929

1) Sec. 12 - Power to issue injunction prohibiting marriage in contravention of this Act

(l) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act, the court may, if satisfied from information laid before it through a complaint or otherwise that a child marriage in contravention of this Act has been arranged or is about to be solemnised, issue an injunction against any of the persons mentioned in sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of this Act prohibiting such marriage.

(2) No injunction under sub-section (1) shall be issued against any person unless the court has previously given notice to such person, and has afforded him an opportunity to show cause against the issue of the injunction.

(3) The court may either on its own motion or on the application of any person aggrieved rescind or alter any order made under sub-section (1).

(4) Where such an application is received, the court shall afford the applicant an early opportunity of appearing before it either in person or by pleader and if the court rejects the application wholly or in part, it shall record in writing its reasons for so doing.

(5) Whoever knowing that an injunction has been issued against him under sub-section (1) of this section disobeys such injunction shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both:

Provided that no woman shall be punishable with imprisonment.

4. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956

1) Sec. 3 - Punishment for keeping a brothel or allowing premises to be used as a brothel
(l) Any person who keeps or manages, or acts or assists in the keeping or management of, a brothel shall be punishable on first conviction with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than three years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction, with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees.

(2) Any person who-
(a) being the tenant, lessee, occupier or person in charge of any premises, uses, or knowingly allows any other person to use, such premises or any part thereof as a brothel, or

(b) being the owner, lessor or landlord of any premises or the agent of such owner, lessor or landlord, lets the same or any part thereof With) the knowledge that the same or any part thereof is intended to be used as a brothel, or is willfully a party to the use of such premises or any part thereof as a brothel, shall be punishable on first conviction with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and also with fine.

(2A) For the purposes of sub-section (2), it shall be presumed until the contrary is proved, that any person referred to in clause (a) or clause (b) of that sub-section, is knowingly allowing the premises or any part thereof to be used as a brothel or, as the case may be, has knowledge that the premises or any part thereof are being used as a brothel, if,-

(a) a report is published in a newspaper having circulation in the area in which such person resides to the effect that the premises or any part thereof have been found to be used for prostitution as a result of a search made under this Act or

(b) a copy of the list of all things found during the search referred to in clause (a) is given to such person.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, on conviction of any person referred to in clause (a) or clause (b) of sub-section (2) of any offence under that sub-section in respect of any premises or any part thereof, any lease or agreement under which such premises have been leased out or are held or occupied at the time of the commission of the offence, shall become void and inoperative with effect from the date of the said conviction.

2) Sec. 4 - Punishment for living on the earnings of prostitution

(1) Any person over the age of eighteen years who knowingly lives, wholly or in part, on the earnings of the prostitution of any other person shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both and where such earnings relate to the prostitution of a child or a minor, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and not more than ten years.

(2) Where any person over the age of eighteen years is proved -
(a) to be living with, or to be habitually in the company of, a prostitute or
(b) to have exercised control, direction or influence over the movements of a prostitute in such a manner as to show that such person is aiding, abetting or compelling her prostitution or
(c) to be acting as a tout or pimp on behalf of a prostitute, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that such person is knowingly living on the earnings of prostitution of another person within the meaning of sub-section (1).

3) Sec. 5 - Procuring, inducing or taking person for the sake of prostitution
(1) Any person who-
(a) procures or attempts to procure a person, whether with or without his consent, for the purpose of prostitution or
(b) induces a person to go from any place, with the intent that he may for the purpose of prostitution become the inmate of, or frequent, a brothel or
(c) takes or attempts to take a person, or causes a person to be taken, from one place to another with a view to his carrying on, or being brought up to carry on prostitution or
(d) causes or induces a person to carry on prostitution,

shall be punishable on conviction with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than three years and not more than seven years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, and if any offence under this sub-section is committed against the will of any person, the punishment of imprisonment for a term of seven years shall extend to imprisonment for a term of fourteen years:

Provided that if the person in respect of whom an offence committed under this sub-section,-
(i) is a child, the punishment provided under this sub-section shall extend to rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years but may extend to life and

(ii) is a minor, the punishment provided under this sub-section shall extend to rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and not more than fourteen years

(3) An offence under this section shall be triable
(a) in the place from which a person is procured, induced to go, taken or caused to be taken or from which an attempt to procure or take such person is made or
(b) in the place to which he may have gone as a result of the inducement or to which he is taken or caused to be taken or an attempt to take him is made.

4) Sec. 8 - Seducing or soliciting for purpose of prostitution
Whoever, in any public place or within sight of, and in such manner as to be seen or heard from, any public place, whether from within any building or house or not-

(a) by words, gestures, willful exposure of his person (whether by sitting by a window or on the balcony of a building or house or in any other way), or otherwise tempts or endeavours to tempt, or attracts or endeavours to attract the attention of, any person for the purpose of prostitution or

(b) solicits or molests any person, or loiters or acts in such manner as to cause obstruction or annoyance to persons residing nearby or passing by such public place or to offend against public decency, for the purpose of prostitution, shall be punishable on first conviction with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both, and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, and also with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees:

Provided that where an offence under this section is committed by a man, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a period of not less than seven days but which may extend to three months.

5. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971

1) Sec. 3 - When pregnancies may be terminated by registered medical practitioners
(l) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), a registered medical practitioner shall not be guilty of any offence under that Code or under any other law for the time being in force, if any pregnancy is terminated by him in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (4), a pregnancy may be terminated by a registered medical practitioner,-
(a) where the length of the pregnancy does not exceed twelve weeks, if such medical practitioner is, or

(b) where the length of the pregnancy exceeds twelve weeks but does not exceed twenty weeks, if not less than two registered medical practitioners are, of opinion, formed in good faith, that-

(i) the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury to her physical or mental health or

(ii) there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

Explanation 1.-Where any pregnancy is alleged by the pregnant woman to have been caused by rape, the anguish caused by such pregnancy shall be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman.

Explanation 2.-Where any pregnancy occurs as a result of failure of any device or method used by any married woman or her husband for the purpose of limiting the number of children, the anguish caused by such unwanted pregnancy may be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman.

(3) In determining whether the continuance of a pregnancy would involve such risk of injury to the health as is mentioned in sub-section (2), account may be taken to the pregnant woman's actual or reasonable foreseeable environment.

(4) (a) No pregnancy of a woman, who has not attained the age of eighteen years, or, who, having attained the age of eighteen years, is a mentally ill person, shall be terminated except with the consent in writing of her guardian.

(b) Save as otherwise provided in clause (a), no pregnancy shall be terminated except with the consent of the pregnant woman.

2) Sec. 4 - Place where pregnancy may be terminated
No termination of pregnancy shall be made in accordance with this Act at any place other than

(a) a hospital established or maintained by Government, or

(b) a place for the time being approved for the purpose of this Act by Government or a District Level Committee constituted by that Government with the Chief Medical Officer or District Health Officer as the Chairperson of the said Committee,

provided that the District Level Committee shall consist of not less than three and not more than five members including the Chairperson, as the Government may specify from time to time.

3) Sec. 5 - Sections 3 and 4 when not to apply
(l) The provisions of section 4, and so much of the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 3 as relate to the length of the pregnancy and the opinion of not less than two registered medical practitioners, shall not apply to the termination of a pregnancy by a registered medical practitioner in a case where he is of opinion, formed in good faith, that the termination of such pregnancy is immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), the termination of pregnancy by a person who is not a registered medical practitioner shall be an offence punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than two years but which may extend to seven years under that Code, and that Code shall,' to this extent, stand modified.

(3) Whoever terminates any pregnancy in a place other than that mentioned in section 4, shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than two years but which may extend to seven years.

(4) Any person being owner of a place which is not approved under clause (b) of section 4 shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than two years but which may extend to 'seven years.

Explanation I.-For the purposes of this section, the expression "owner" in relation to a place means any person who is the administrative head or otherwise responsible for the working or maintenance of a hospital or place, by whatever name called, where the pregnancy may be terminated under this Act.

Explanation 2.-For the purposes of this section, so much of the provisions of clause (d) of section 2 as relate to the possession, by registered medical practitioner, of experience or training in gynecology and obstetrics shall not apply.

6. Female Infanticide Prevention Act, 1870

An Act for the Prevention of the murder of Female Infants

1. Power to take measures under Act in particulars district
If it shall appear to the (Subs. by A. O., 1937, for " L. G.".) [Provincial Government] that the said offence is commonly committed in any district, or by any class, or family, or persons residing therein, the (Subs. by A. O., 1937, for " L. G.".) [Provincial Government] may, (The words "with the previous sanction of the G. G of India in C." rep. by the Devolution Act, 1920 (38 of 1920), s. 2 and Sch. I.)* * * declare by notification published in the official Gazette, and in such other manner as the (Subs. by A. O., 1937, for " L. G.".) [Provincial Government] shall direct, that measures for the prevention of such offence shall be taken under this Act, in such district, or in respect of such class, or family or persons.

The notification shall define the limits of such district, or shall specify the class family or persons to whom such notification is to be deemed to apply.

2. Power to make rules
When such notification shall have been published as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the (Subs. by A. O., 1937, for "L. G.")[Provincial Government], subject to the provisions of section 3, from time to time to make rules consistent with this Act for all or any of the following purposes:
(1) for making and maintaining registers of births, marriages and deaths occurring in such district, or in or among the class, family or persons to whom such notification has been made applicable  and for making, from time to time, a census of such persons, or of any other persons residing within such district.

(2) for the entertainment of any police‑force in excess of the ordinary fixed establishment of police, or for the entertainment of any officers or servants, for the purpose of preventing or detecting the murder of female infants in such district, or in or among such class, family or persons, or for carrying out any of the provisions of this Act

(3) for prescribing how and by whom information shall be given to the proper officers of all births, marriages and deaths occurring or about to occur in such district, or in or among such class, family or persons.

(4) for the regulation and limitation of expenses incurred by any person to whom such notification applies on account of the celebration of marriage or of any ceremony or custom connected therewith.

(5) for regulating the manner in which all or any of the expenses incurred in carrying into effect rules made under this section shall be recovered from all or any of the inhabitants of such district, or from the persons to whom such notification is applicable.

(6) for defining the duties of any officer or servant appointed to carry out any rule made
Under the section.
3. Confirmation and publication of rules
No rule or alteration made under section 2 shall take effect until it shall have been (The words "confirmed by the G. G of India in C. and" rep. by the Devolution Act, 1920 (38 of 1920), s. 2 and Sch. I.)* * * published (The words " in the Gazette of India and also " rep. ibid.)* * * in the (Subs. by A. O.,1937, for "local Gazette".) [official Gazette].
Copies of every such rule shall be affixed in such places, and shall be distributed in such manner‑ as the (Subs. by A. O., 1937, for "L. G.") [Provincial Government] may direct.

4. Punishment for breach of rules

Whoever disobeys any such rule shall, on conviction before any officer exercising the powers of a Magistrate, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

5. Saving of prosecutions under other laws
Nothing in this Act, or in any rule made and published as aforesaid, shall prevent any person from being prosecuted and punished under any other law for any offence punishable under this Act. Provided that no person shall be punished twice for the same offence.

6. Power to place neglected children under supervisions
If it appears to the Magistrate of the District that any person, to whom the notification mentioned in section 1 applies, under super neglects to make proper provision for the maintenance of any female child for whose maintenance he is legally responsible, and that the life or health of such child is thereby endangered, such Magistrate may, in his discretion, place the child under such super*vision as he may think proper, and shall, if necessary, remove the child from the custody of such person..

The Magistrate of the District may order him to make a monthly allowance for the maintenance of the child at such monthly rate not exceeding fifty rupees as to such Magistrate shall seem reasonable, and, if such person willfully neglects to comply with such order, such Magistrate may, for every breach of the order, by warrant direct the amount due to be levied in manner pro*vided by section 61(See now the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898), ss. 386 and 387.) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Nothing in this section shall affect the powers of a Magistrate under section 316 (see now ibid. section 488 of the same code.

7. Extent of Act
This Act shall, in the first instance, extend (The Act has been declared to extend and to have extended from the 21st December, 1870, to the Presidency of Bombay, by s. 2 of Bom. Act 3 of 1897 (to amend Act 8 of 1870).) only to (The original words "the North Western Provinces, to the Punjab and to Oudh" have been amended by A. O., 1949, Sch. and the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Act, 1951(26 of 1951), s. 4 and III Sch., to read as above.)[the Punjab]  but (The original words " the Governor General of India in Council may by order extend it to any part of the territories (other than Oudh) under the immediate administration of the Government of India  and the Governor of Madras in Council, the Governor of Bombay in Council, and the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, may severally by order extend it to any part of the territories under their respective governments.
Every order under this section made by the Governor General of India in Council shall be published in the Gazette of India. Every other order made under this section shall be published in the local official Gazette " have been successively amended by Act 38 of 1930, A. O., 1937 and A. O., 1949, Sch., to read as above.) [the Provincial Government of any (The word "other" omitted by the Central Laws (Statute Reform) Ordinance, 1960 (21 of 1960), s. 3 and 2nd Sch. (with effect from the 14th October, 1955).)* Province may, by notification published in official Gazette extend it to any part of the territories under the administration of that Provincial Government].

7. Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994

1) Sec. 2 – Definitions
(i) "pre-natal diagnostic procedures" means all gynaecological or obstetrical or medical procedures such as ultrasonography foetoscopy, taking or removing samples of amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, blood or any tissue of a pregnant woman for being sent to a Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic for conducting pre-natal diagnostic test

(j) "Pre-natal diagnostic techniques" includes all pre-natal diagnostic procedures and pre-natal diagnostic tests

(k) "pre-natal diagnostic test" means ultrasonography or any test or analysis of amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, blood or any tissue of a pregnant woman conducted to detect genetic or metabolic disorders or chrom somal abnormalities or congential anomalies or Haemoglobinopathies or sex-linked diseases

(l) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act

(m)"registered medical practitioner" means a medical practitioner who possesses any recognized medical qualification as defined in clause

(h) of section 2 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956,(102 of 1956.) and whose name has been entered in a State Medical Register

(n) "Regulations" means regulations framed by the Board under this Act.

2) Sec. 3 - Regulation of Genetic Counselling Centres, Genetic Laboratories and Genetic Clinics. On and from the commencement of this Act

(1) No Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic unless registered under this Act, shall conduct or associate with, or help in, conducting activities relating to pre-natal diagnostic techniques

(2) No Genetic Counselling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall employ or cause to be employed any person who does not possess the prescribed qualifications

(3) No medical geneticist, gynecologist pediatrician registered medical practitioner or any other person shall conduct or cause to be conducted or aid in conducting by himself or through any other person, any pre-natal diagnostic techniques at a place other than a place registered under this Act.

3) Sec. 4 - Regulation of pre-natal diagnostic techniques

On and from the commencement of this Act:
(1) No place including a registered Genetic Counselling Centre or Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall be used or caused to be used by any person for conducting pre-natal diagnostic techniques except for the purposes specified in clause (2) and after satisfying any of the conditions specified in clause (3)

(2) No pre-natal diagnostic techniques shall be conducted except for the purposes of detection of any of the following abnormalities, namely:
(i) Chromosomal abnormalities
(ii) Genetic metabolic diseases
(iii) Haemoglobinopathies
(iv) Sex - linked genetic diseases
(v) Congenital anomalies
(vi) Any other abnormalities or diseases as may be specified by the Central Supervisory Board

(3) no pre-natal diagnostic techniques shall be used or conducted unless the person qualified to do so is satisfied that any of the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:--
(i) Age of the pregnant woman is above thirty-five years
(ii) the pregnant woman has undergone of two or more spontaneous abortions or foetal loss
(iii) the pregnant woman had been exposed to potentially teratogenic agents such as drugs, radiation, infection or chemicals
(iv) the pregnant woman has a family history of mental retardation or physical deformities such as spasticity or any other genetic disease
(v) any other condition as may be specified by the Central Supervisory Board

(4) no person, being a relative or the husband of the pregnant woman shall seek or encourage the conduct of any prenatal diagnostic techniques on her except for the purpose specified in clause (2).

4) Sec. 5 - Written consent of pregnant woman and prohibition of communicating the sex of foetus

(1) No person referred to in clause of section 3 shall conduct the pre-natal diagnostic procedures unless-
(a) he has explained all known side and after effects of such procedures to the pregnant woman concerned
(b) he has obtained in the prescribed form her written consent to undergo such procedures in the language which she understands and
(c) a copy of her written consent obtained under clause
(b) is given to the pregnant woman.

(2) No person conducting pre-natal diagnostic procedures shall communicate to the pregnant woman concerned or her relatives the sex of the foetus by words, signs or in any other manner.

5) Sec. 6 - Determination of sex prohibited. On and from the commencement of this Act

(a) no Genetic Counselling Centre or Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall conduct or cause to be conducted in its Centre, Laboratory or Clinic, pre-natal diagnostic techniques including ultrasonography, for the purpose of determining the sex of a foetus

(b) no person shall conduct or cause to be conducted any pre-natal diagnostic techniques including ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of a foetus.

6) Sec. 22 - Prohibition of advertisement relating to pre-natal determination of sex and punishment for contravention

(1) No person, organisation, Genetic Counseling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic shall issue or cause to be issued any advertisement in any manner regarding facilities of pre-natal determination of sex available at such Centre, Laboratory, Clinic or any other place.

(2) No person or organisation shall publish or distribute or cause to be published or distributed any advertisement in any manner regarding facilities of pre-natal determination of sex available at any Genetic Counseling Centre, Genetic Laboratory, Genetic Clinic or any other place.

(3) Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) or sub-section (2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees.

Explanation-For the purposes of this section, "advertisement" includes any notice, circular, label wrapper or other document and also includes any visible representation made by means of any light, sound, smoke or gas.

7) Sec. 23 - Offences and penalties

(1) Any medical geneticist, gynaecologist, registered medical practitioner or any person who owns a Genetic Counseling Centre, a Genetic Laboratory or a Genetic Clinic or is employed in such a Centre, Laboratory or Clinic and renders his professional or technical services to or at such a Centre, Laboratory or Clinic, whether on an honorary basis or otherwise, and who contravenes any of the provisions of this Act or rules made there under shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees and on any subsequent conviction, with imprisonment which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.

(2) The name of the registered medical practitioner who has been convicted by the court under sub-section (1), shall be reported by the Appropriate Authority to the respective State Medical Council for taking necessary action including the removal of his name from the register of the Council for a period of two years for the first offence and permanently for the subsequent offence.

(3) Any person who seeks the aid of a Genetic Counseling Centre, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Clinic or of a medical geneticist, gynaecologist or registered medical practitioner for conducting pre- natal diagnostic techniques on any pregnant woman (including such woman unless she was compelled to undergo such diagnostic techniques) for purposes other than those specified in clause (2) of section 4, shall, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees and on any subsequent conviction with imprisonment which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.

8) Sec. 24 - Presumption in the case of conduct of pre-natal diagnostic techniques

Notwithstanding anything in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872), the court shall presume unless the contrary is proved that the pregnant woman has been compelled by her husband or the relative to undergo pre-natal diagnostic technique and such person shall be liable for abetment of offence under sub-section (3) of section 23 and shall be punishable for the offence specified under that section.

9) Sec. 25 - Penalty for contravention of the provisions of the Act or rules for which no specific punishment is provided

Whoever contravenes any of the provisions of this Act or any rules made there under, for which no penalty has been elsewhere provided in this Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine, which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both and in the case of continuing contravention with an additional fine which may extend to five hundred rupees for every day during which such contravention continues after conviction for the first such contravention.

10) Sec. 26 - Offences by companies

(1) where any offence, punishable under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence punishable under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Explanation - For the purposes of this section,
(a) company means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals, and
(b) director, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

11) Sec. 27 - Offence to be cognizable, non-bailable and noncompoundable

Every offence under this Act shall be cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable.

12) Sec. 28 - Cognizance of offences

(1) No court shall take cognizance of an offence under this Act except on a complaint made by-
(a) the Appropriate Authority concerned, or any officer authorised in this behalf by the Central Government or State Government, as the case may be, or the Appropriate Authority or
(b) A person who has given notice of not less than thirty days in the manner prescribed, to the Appropriate Authority, of the alleged offence and of his intention to make a complaint to the court.

Explanation - For the purpose of this clause, "person" includes a social organisation.

(2) No court other than that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this Act.

(3) Where a complaint has been made under clause (b) of subsection (1), the court may, on demand by such person, direct the Appropriate Authority to make available copies of the relevant records in its possession to such person.

8.Report of National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution
The Report was submitted to Government of India by Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah, Chairperson of the Commission on 31st March, 2002).

1. Entrenched, Justifiable Constitutional Bill of Rights and Directive Principles
A Bill of Rights is the political technique of placing certain basic civilization values as limitations on the majority. The entrenched and justifiable Fundamental Rights are the expedient adopted by self-governing peoples to recognize certain basic human-rights as inalienable and place them beyond the reach of an 'amoral majority.' Values of life, liberty and dignity are not subject to political vicissitudes. They depend on the outcome of no elections. They are sacrosanct in themselves and are inalienable.

Part III of the Indian Constitution enshrines these great rights. Part IV contains directives which enable the realization and effectuation of the aspiration of Part III and give full meaning to them. Part IV is theoretically non-justifiable. But it permeates the whole ethos of Part III. Despite Sir Ivor Jenning's sarcasm that "the ghost of Sidney and Beatrice Webb stalk through the pages of the text, Part IV of the Constitution expresses Fabian Socialism without the Socialism", the Constitution seeks humanism, endurance and higher values.

2. Rights against torture and inhuman, degrading and cruel treatment and punishment
Torture and inhuman, degrading and cruel treatment and punishment grossly violate human dignity. The Supreme Court has implied a right against torture, etc. by way of interpretation of article 21 which deals with the right to life and liberty. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and the ICCPR 'prohibit such acts in article 5 and article 7 respectively.

It is, therefore, recommended that the existing article 21 may be re-numbered as clause (1) thereof, and a new clause (2) should be inserted thereafter on the following lines:-

"(2) No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

3. Right to Privacy
The Supreme Court has included the 'Right to Privacy' in the Right to 'Life' under article 21. It is, therefore, proposed that a new article, namely, article 21-B, should be inserted on the following lines:

(1) Every person has a right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

(2) Nothing in clause (1) shall prevent the State from making any law imposing reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by clause (1), in the interests of security of the State, public Report of National Commission to Review the Working of The Constitution safety or for the prevention of disorder or crime, or for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

4. Right to justice and legal aid
The Commission recommends that after article 30, the following article should be added as article 30A:

"30A: Access to Courts and Tribunals and speedy justice (1) Everyone has a right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair public hearing before an independent court or, where appropriate, another independent and impartial tribunal or forum.

(2) The right to access to courts shall be deemed to include the right to reasonably speedy and effective justice in all matters before" the courts, tribunals or other fora and the State shall take all reasonable steps to achieve the said object."

Legal aid is essential for effective implementation of the various rights included in Part III to help the needy and the indigent. The Commission recommends that article 39A in Part IV be shifted to Part III as a new article 30B to read as under:-

39B. Equal justice and free legal aid: The State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.

5. Spirit of Harmony and Dignity of Women
Some further thought needs to be given to clauses (e) and (f) of article 51A. Article 51A(e) desires the promotion of harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood among all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities and renunciation of practices derogatory to the dignity of women. It is couched in broad terms but it should be clear that attacks on minority communities or minority opinions are frowned upon. Respect for both are essential and the wording lends support to a broad humanism to cover such differences as may exist or better still, co-exist. Two thoughts can be distilled. The first is that the objective will not be reached unless there is a determined effort to restrict religious practices to the home on the justified premise that one's religion is a personal matter and is not conducive to mass assertiveness. The other is the status of women.

It is quite clear to the Commission that the disease of considering human beings as high or low based on the accident of birth is a disease rooted in the mind and it is in the mind that the defenses of a society based on human dignity and equality must be constructed. Logically this leads directly to the conclusion that the key lies in education. The time to begin training our young people to respect the National flag and sing the National anthem, to respect women, to hold all religions equal and deserving of as much respect as one's own, to accept that all human beings are born equal and are entitled to equal treatment are among principles best taught by examples when the child is too young to understand but not too young to obey. The focus must, therefore, shift to education which has suffered from serious neglect. Schools restrict admissions on unacceptable criteria teachers themselves are untrained and often politicized, as is the curriculum. Despite these hardships, many of our young people have done well.

VII. Special Legislation on Domestic Violence in India

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

An Act to provide for more effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-sixth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-
1) Sec. 1 - Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

2) Sec. 2 Definitions
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-
(a) "aggrieved person" means any woman who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to any act of domestic violence by the respondent

(b) "child" means any person below the age of eighteen years and includes any adopted, step or foster child

(c) "compensation order" means an order granted in terms of section 22

(d) "custody order" means an order granted in terms of section 21

(e) "domestic incident report" means a report made in the prescribed form on receipt of a complaint of domestic violence from an aggrieved person

(f) "domestic relationship" means a relationship between two persons who live or have, at any point of time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family

(g) "domestic violence" has the same meaning as assigned to it in section 3

(h) "dowry" shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961)

(i) "Magistrate" means the Judicial Magistrate of the first class, or as the case may be, the Metropolitan Magistrate, exercising jurisdiction under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) in the area where the aggrieved person resides temporarily or otherwise or the respondent resides or the domestic violence is alleged to have taken place

(j) "medical facility" means such facility as may be notified by the State Government to be a medical facility for the purposes of this Act

(k) "monetary relief" means the compensation which the Magistrate may order the respondent to pay to the aggrieved person, at any stage during the hearing of an application seeking any relief under this Act, to meet the expenses incurred and the losses suffered by the aggrieved person as a result of the domestic violence

(l) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette and the expression "notified" shall be construed accordingly

(m) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act

(n) "Protection Officer" means an officer appointed by the State Government under sub-section (1) of section 8

(o) "protection order" means an order made in terms of section 18

(p) "residence order" means an order granted in terms of sub-section (1) of section 19

(q) "respondent" means any adult male person who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved person and against whom the aggrieved person has sought any relief under this Act: Provided that an aggrieved wife or female living in a relationship in the nature of a marriage may also file a complaint against a relative of the husband or the male partner

(r) "service provider" means an entity registered under sub-section (1) of section 10

(s) "shared household" means a household where the person aggrieved lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with the respondent and includes such a household whether owned or tenanted either jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent, or owned or tenanted by either of them in respect of which either the aggrieved person or the respondent or both jointly or singly have any right, title, interest or equity and includes such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the respondent or the aggrieved person has any right, title or interest in the shared household

(t) "shelter home" means any shelter home as may be notified by the State Government to be a shelter home for the purposes of this Act.

Domestic Violence-Divorce
Husband filing divorce petition-Wife has legal right to reside in shared household as equal partner till divorce is granted.

Domestic Violence
Husband offering to pay rent if wife gets a rented accommodation and not allowing the wife to reside in shred household. It is illegal.
Shared household- A wife during substance of marriage has a legal right to live in shared household even if the wife not resided in shared household in past.

3) Sec 3 - Definition of domestic violence

For the purposes of this Act, any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in case it -

(a) harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse or

(b) harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or any other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security or

(c) has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b) or

(d) otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person.

Explanation 1- For the purposes of this section-
(i) "physical abuse" means any act or conduct which is of such a nature as to cause bodily pain, harm, or danger to life, limb, or health or impair the health or development of the aggrieved person and includes assault, criminal intimidation and criminal force

(ii) "sexual abuse" includes any conduct of a sexual nature that abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of woman

(iii) "verbal and emotional abuse" includes-

(a) insu1ts, ridicu1e, "humiliation, nameca1fing and insults or ridicule specially with regard to not having a child or a male child and

(b) repeated threats to cause physical pain to any person in whom the aggrieved person is interested.

(iv) "economic abuse" includes-

(a) deprivation of all or any economic or financial resources to which the aggrieved person is entitled under any law or custom whether payable under an order of a court or otherwise or which the aggrieved person requires out of necessity including, but not limited to, household necessities for the aggrieved person and her children, if any, stridhan, property, jointly or separately owned by the aggrieved person, payment of rental related to the shared- :household and maintenance

(b) disposal of household effects, any alienation of assets whether movable or immovable, valuables, shares, securities, bonds and the like or other property in which the aggrieved person has an interest or is entitled to use by virtue of the domestic relationship or which may be reasonably required by the aggrieved person or her children or her stridhan or any other property jointly or separately held by the aggrieved person and

(c) Prohibition or restriction to continued access to resources or facilities which the aggrieved person is entitled to use or enjoy by virtue of the domestic relationship including access to the shared household.

Explanation 11- For the purpose of determining whether any act, omission, commission or conduct of the respondent constitutes "domestic violence" under this section, the overall facts and circumstances of the case shall be taken into consideration.

Powers And Duties of Protection Officers, Service Providers, Etc.

4) Sec. 4 - Information to Protection Officer and exclusion of liability of informant
(1) Any person who has reason to believe that an act of domestic violence has been, or is being, or is likely to be committed, may give information about it to the concerned Protection Officer.
(2) No liability, civil or criminal, shall be incurred by any person for giving in good faith of information for the purpose of sub-section (1).

5) Sec. 5 - Duties of police officers, service providers and Magistrate
A police officer, Protection Officer, service provider or Magistrate who has received a complaint of domestic violence or is otherwise present at the place of an incident of domestic violence or when the incident of domestic violence is reported to him, shall inform the aggrieved person:

(a) of her right to make an application for obtaining a relief by way of a protection order, an order for monetary relief, a custody order. a residence order. a compensation order or more than one such order under this Act
(b) of the availability of services of service providers
(c) of the availability of services of the Protection Officers
(d) of her right to free legal services under the legal Services Authorities Act, 1987
(e) of her right to file a complaint under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code 1860, wherever relevant:

Provided that nothing in this Act shall be construed in any manner as to relieve a police officer from his duty to proceed in accordance with law upon receipt of information as to the commission of a cognizable offence.

6) Sec. 6 - Duties of shelter homes
If an aggrieved person or on her behalf a Protection Officer or a service provider requests the person in charge of a shelter home to provide shelter to her, such person in charge of the shelter home shall provide shelter to the aggrieved person in the shelter home.

7) Sec. 7 - Duties of medical facilities
If an aggrieved person or, on her behalf a Protection Officer or a service provider requests the person in charge of a medical facility to provide any medical aid to her, such person in charge of the medical facility shall provide medical aid to the aggrieved person in the medical facility.

8) Sec. 8 - Appointment of Protection Officers
(1) The State Government shall, by notification, appoint such number of Protection Officers in each district as it may consider necessary and shall also notify the area or areas within which a Protection Officer shall exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred on him by or under this Act.

(2) The Protection Officers shall as far as possible be women and shall possess such qualifications and experience as may be prescribed.

(3) The terms and conditions of service of the Protection Officer and the other officers subordinate to him shall be such as may be prescribed.

9) Sec. 9 - Duties and functions of Protection Officers
(1) It shall be the duty of the Protection Officer -

(a) to assist the Magistrate in the discharge of his functions under this Act"

(b) to make a domestic incident report to the Magistrate, in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed, upon receipt of a complaint of domestic violence and forward copies there of to the police officer in charge of the police station within the local limits of whose jurisdiction domestic violence is alleged to have been committed and to the service providers in that area

(c) to make an application in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed to the Magistrate, if the aggrieved person so desires, claiming relief for issuance of a protection order

(d) to ensure that the aggrieved person is provided legal aid under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 (39 of 1987) and make available free of cost the prescribed form in which a complaint is to be made

(e) to maintain a list of all service providers providing legal aid or counseling, shelter homes and medical facilities in a local area within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate

(f) to make available a safe shelter home, if the aggrieved person so requires and forward a copy of his report of having lodged the aggrieved person in a shelter home to the police station and the Magistrate having jurisdiction in the area where the shelter home is situated

(g) to get the aggrieved person medically examined, if she has sustained bodily injuries and forward a copy of the medical report to the police station and the Magistrate having jurisdiction in the area where the domestic violence is alleged to have been taken place

(h) to ensure that the order for monetary relief under section 20 is complied with and executed, in accordance with the procedure prescribed under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974)

(i) to perform such other duties as may be prescribed.

(2) The Protection Officer shall be under the control and supervision of the Magistrate, and shall perform the duties imposed on him by the Magistrate and the Government by, or under, this Act.

10) Sec. 10 - Service providers
(1) Subject to such rules as may be made in this behalf, any voluntary association registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860) or a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) or any other law for the time being in force with the objective of protecting .the rights and interests of women by any lawful means including providing of legal aid, medical, financial or other assistance shall register itself with the State Government as a service provider for the purposes of this Act.

(2) A service provider registered under sub-section (1) shall have the power to

(a) record the domestic incident report in the prescribed form if the aggrieved person so desires and forward a copy thereof to the Magistrate and the Protection Officer having jurisdiction in the area where the domestic violence took place

(b) get the aggrieved person medically examined and forward a copy of the medical report to the Protection Officer and the police station within the local limits of which the domestic violence took place

(c) ensure that the aggrieved person is provided shelter in a shelter home, if she so requires and forward a report of the lodging of the aggrieved person in the shelter home to the police station within the local limits of which the domestic violence took place.

(3) No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any service provider or any member of the service provider who is, or who is deemed to be, acting or purporting to act under this Act, for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in the exercise of powers or discharge of functions under this Act towards the prevention of the commission of domestic violence.

11) Sec.11 - Duties of Government
The Central Government and every State Government, shall take all measures to ensure that -
(a) the provisions of this Act are given wide publicity through public media including the television, radio and the print media at regular intervals

(b) the Central Government and State Government officers ' including the police officers and the members of the judicial services are given periodic sensitization and awareness training on the issues addressed by this Act

(c) effective co-ordination between the services provided by concerned Ministries and Departments dealing with law, home affairs including law and order, health and human resources to address issues of domestic violence is established and periodical review of the same is conducted

(d) protocols for the various Ministries concerned with the delivery of services to women under this Act including the courts are prepared and put in place.

Procedure fFor Obtaining Orders of Relief

12) Sec. 12 - Application to Magistrate
(1) An aggrieved person or a Protection Officer or any other person on behalf of the aggrieved person may present an application to the Magistrate seeking one or more reliefs under this Act:

Provided that before passing any order on such application, the Magistrate shall take into consideration any domestic incident report received by him from the Protection Officer or the service provider.

(2) The relief sought for under sub-section (1) may include a relief . for issuance of an order for payment of compensation or damages without prejudice to the right of such person to institute a suit for compensation or damages for the injuries caused by the acts of domestic violence committed by the respondent:

Provided that where a decree for any amount as compensation or damages has been passed by any court in favour of the aggrieved person, the amount, if any, paid or payable in pursuance of the order made by the Magistrate under this Act shall be set off against the amount payable under such decree and the decree shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), or any other law for the time being in force, be executable for the balance amount, if any, left after such set off

(3) Every application under sub-section (f) shall be in such form and contain such particulars as may be prescribed or as nearly as possible thereto.

(4) The Magistrate shall fix the first date of hearing, which shall not ordinarily be beyond three days from the date of receipt to the application by the court.

(5) The Magistrate shall endeavour to dispose of every application made under sub-section (1) within a period of sixty days from the-date of its first hearing.

13) Sec. 13 - Service of notice
(1) A notice of the date of hearing fixed under section 12 shall be given by the Magistrate to the Protection Officer, who shall get it served by such means as may be prescribed on the respondent, and on any other person, as directed by the Magistrate within a maximum period of, two days or such further reasonable time as may be allowed by the Magistrate from the date of its receipt.

(2) A declaration of service of notice made by the Protection Officer in such form as may be prescribed shall be the proof that such notice was served upon the respondent and on any other person as directed by the Magistrate unless the contrary is proved.

14) Sec. 14 - Counseling
(1) The Magistrate may, at any stage of the proceedings under this Act, direct the respondent or the aggrieved person, either singly or jointly, to undergo counselling with any member of a service provider who possesses such qualifications and experience in counselling as may be prescribed.

(2) Where the Magistrate has issued any direction under subsection (1), he shall fix the next date of hearing of the case within a period not exceeding two months.

15) Sec. 15 - Assistance of welfare expert
In any proceeding under this Act, the Magistrate may secure the services of such person, preferably a woman, whether related to the aggrieved person or not, including a person engaged in promoting family welfare as he thinks fit, for the purpose of assisting him in discharging his functions.

16) Sec. 16 - Proceedings to be held in camera
If the Magistrate considers that the circumstances of the case so warrant, and if either party to the proceedings so desires, he may conduct the proceedings under this Act in camera.

17) Sec. 17 - Right to reside in a shared household
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, every woman in a domestic relationship shall have the right to reside in the shared household, whether or not she has any right, title or beneficial interest in the same.

(2) The aggrieved person shall not be evicted or excluded from the shared household or any part of it by the respondent save in accordance with the procedure established by law.

18) Sec. 18. Protection orders
The Magistrate may, after giving the aggrieved person and the respondent an opportunity of being heard and on being prima facie satisfied that domestic violence has taken place or is likely to take place pass a protection order in favour of the aggrieved person and prohibit the respondent from -

(a) committing any act of domestic violence

(b) aiding or abetting in the commission of acts of domestic violence

(c) entering the place of employment of the aggrieved person or, if the person aggrieved is a child, its school or any other place frequented by the aggrieved person"

(d)" attempting to communicate in any form, whatsoever, with the aggrieved person, including personal, oral. or written or electronic or telephonic contact

(e) alienating any assets, operating bank lockers or bank accounts used or held or enjoyed by both the parties, jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent or singly by the respondent, including her stridhan or any other property held either jointly by the parties or separately by them without the leave of the Magistrate

(f) causing violence to the dependants, other relatives or any person who give the aggrieved person assistance from domestic violence

(g) committing any other act as specified in the protection order.

19) Sec. 19 Residence orders
(1) While disposing of an application under sub-section (1) of section 12, the Magistrate may, on being satisfied that domestic violence has taken place, pass a residence order-

(a) restraining the respondent from dispossessing or in any other manner disturbing the possession of the aggrieved person from the shared household, whether or not the respondent has a legal or equitable interest in the shared household

(b) directing the respondent to remove himself from the shared household

(c) restraining the respondent or any of his relatives from entering any portion of the shared household in which the aggrieved' person resides

(d) restraining the respondent from alienating or disposing off the shared household or encumbering the same

(e) restraining the respondent from renouncing his rights in the shared household except with the leave of the Magistrate or

(f) directing the respondent to secure same level of alternate accommodation for the aggrieved person as enjoyed by her in the shared household or to pay rent for the same, if the circumstances so require:

Provided that no order under clause (b) shall be passed against any person who is a woman.

(2) The Magistrate may impose any additional conditions or pass any other direction which he may deem reasonably necessary to protect or to provide for the safety of the aggrieved person or any child of such aggrieved person.

(3) The Magistrate may require from the respondent to execute a bond, with or without sureties, for -preventing the commission of domestic violence.

(4) An order under sub-section (3) shall be deemed to be an order under Chapter VIII of the Code of Criminal Procedure. 1973 (2 of 1974) and shall be dealt with accordingly

(5) While passing an 'order under sub-section (1), sub-section (2) or sub-section (3), the court may also pass an order directing the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station to give protection to the aggrieved person or to assist her or the person making, an application on her behalf in the implementation of the order.'

(6) While making an order under sub-section (1), the Magistrate may impose on the respondent obligations relating to the discharge of rent and other payments, having regard to the financial needs and resources of the parties.

(7) The Magistrate may direct the officer in-charge of the police station in whose jurisdiction the Magistrate has been approached to assist in the implementation of the protection order.

(8) The Magistrate may direct the respondent to return to the possession of the aggrieved person her stridhan or any other property or valuable security to which she is entitled to.

20) Sec. 20 - Monetary relief
(1) While disposing of an application under sub-section (1) of section 12, the Magistrate may direct the respondent to pay monetary relief to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered by the aggrieved person and any child of the aggrieved person as a result of the domestic violence and such relief may include, but not limited to,-

(a) the loss of earnings

(b) the medical expenses

(c) the loss caused due to the destruction, damage or remover of any property from the control of the aggrieved person and

(d) the maintenance for the aggrieved person as well as her children, if any, including an order under or in addition to an order of maintenance under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or any other law for the time being in force.

(2) The monetary relief granted under this section shall be adequate, fair and reasonable and consistent with the standard of living to which the aggrieved person is accustomed.

(3) The Magistrate shall have the power to order an appropriate rump sum payment or monthly payments of maintenance, as the nature and circumstances of the case may require.

(4) The Magistrate shall send a copy of the order for monetary relief made under sub-section (1) to the parties to the application and to the in charge of the police station within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the respondent resides.

(5) The respondent shall pay the monetary relief granted to the aggrieved person within the period specified in the order under sub-section (1).

(6) Upon the failure on the part of the respondent to make payment in terms of the order under sub-section (1), the Magistrate may direct the employer or a debtor of the respondent, to directly pay to the aggrieved person or to deposit with the court a portion of the wages. or salaries or debt due to or accrued to the credit of the respondent, which amount may be adjusted towards the monetary relief payable by the respondent.

21) Sec. 21 - Custody orders
Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the Magistrate may, at any stage of hearing of the application for protection order or for any other relief under this Act grant temporary custody of any child or children to the aggrieved person or the person making an application on her behalf and specify, if necessary, the arrangements for visit of such child or children by the respondent:

Provided that if the Magistrate is of the opinion that any visit of the respondent may be harmful to the interests of the child or children, the Magistrate shall refuse to allow such visit.

22) Sec. 22 - Compensation orders
In addition to other reliefs as may be granted under this Act, the Magistrate may on an application being made by the aggrieved person, pass an order directing the respondent to pay compensation and damages for the injuries, including mental torture and emotional distress, caused by the acts of domestic violence committed by that respondent.

23) Sec. 23 - Power to grant interim and ex parte orders
(1) In any proceeding before him under this Act, the Magistrate may pass such interim order as he deems just and proper.

(2) If the Magistrate is satisfied that an application prima facie discloses that the respondent is committing, or has committed an act of domestic violence or that there is a likelihood that the respondent may commit an act of domestic violence, he maY9rant an ex parte order on the basis of the affidavit in such form, as may be prescribed, of the aggrieved person under section 18, section 19, section 20, section 21 or, as the case may be, section 22 against the respondent.

24) Sec. 24 - Court to give copies of order free of cost
The Magistrate shall, in all cases where he has passed any order under this Act, order that a copy of such order, shall be given free of cost, to the parties to the application, the police officer in-charge of the police station in the jurisdiction of which the Magistrate has been approached and any service provider located within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the court and if any service provider has registered a domestic incident report, to that service provider.

25) Sec. 25 - Duration and alteration of orders
(1) A protection order made under section 18 shall be in force till the aggrieved person applies for discharge.
(2) If the Magistrate, on receipt of an application from the aggrieved person or the respondent, is satisfied that there is a change in the circumstances requiring alteration, modification or revocation of any order made under this Act, he may, for reasons to be recorded in writing pass such order, as he may deem appropriate.

26) Sec. 26 - Relief in other suits and legal proceedings
(1) Any relief available under sections 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 may also be sought in any legal proceeding, before a civil court, family court or a criminal court, affecting the aggrieved person and the respondent whether such proceeding was initiated before or after the commencement of this Act.

(2) Any relief referred to in sub-section (1) may be sought for in addition to and along with any other relief that the aggrieved person may seek in such suit or legal proceeding before a civil or criminal court.

(3) In case any relief has been obtained by the aggrieved person in any proceedings other than a proceeding under this Act, she shall be bound to inform the Magistrate of the grant of such relief.

 

27) Sec. 27 - Jurisdiction
(1) The court of Judicial Magistrate of the first class or the Metropolitan Magistrate, as the case may be, within the local limits of which -
(a) the person aggrieved permanently or temporarily resides or carries on business or is employed; or
(b) the respondent resides or carries on business or is employed; or
(c) the cause of action has arisen, shall be the competent court to grant a protection order and other orders under this Act and to try offences under this Act.

(2) Any order made under this Act shall be enforceable throughout India.

28) Sec. 28 Procedure
(1) Save as otherwise provided in this Act, all proceedings under sections 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 and offences under section 31 shall be governed by the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).

(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall prevent the court from laying down its own procedure for disposal of an application under section 12 or under sub-section (2) of section 23.

29) Sec. 29 - Appeal
There shall lie an appeal to the Court of Session within thirty days from the date on which the order made by the Magistrate is served on the aggrieved person or the respondent, as the case may be, whichever is later.

30) Sec. 30 - Protection Officers and members of service providers to be Public servants
The Protection Officers and members of service providers, while acting or purporting to act in pursuance of any of the provisions of this Act or any rules or orders made there under shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

31) Sec. 31 - Penalty for breach of protection order by respondent
(1) A breach of protection order, or of an interim protection order, by the respondent shall be an offence under this Act and shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to twenty thousand rupees, or with both.

(2) The offence under sub-section (t) shall as far as practicable be tried by the Magistrate who had passed the order the breach of which has been alleged to have been caused by the accused.

(3) While framing charges under sub-section (1), the Magistrate may also frame charges under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or any other provision of that Code or the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961), as the case may be, if the facts disclose the commission of an offence under those provisions.

32) Sec. 32 - Cognizance and proof

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), the offence under sub-section (1) of section 31 shall be cognizable and non-bailable.

(2) Upon the sole testimony of the aggrieved person, the court may conclude that an offence under sub-section (1) of section 31 has been committed by the accused.

33) Sec. 33 - Penalty for not discharging duty by Protection Officer
If any Protection Officer fails or refuses to discharge his duties as directed by the Magistrate in the protection order without any sufficient cause, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to twenty thousand rupees, or with both.

34) Sec. 34 - Cognizance of offence committed by Protection Officer
No prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Protection Officer unless a complaint is filed with the previous sanction of the State Government or an officer authorised by it in this behalf.

35) Sec. 35 - Protection of action taken in good faith

No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Protection Officer for any damage caused or likely to be caused by anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or any rule or order made thereunder.

36) Sec. 36 - Act not in derogation of any other law
The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law, for the time being in force.

37) Sec. 37 - Power of Central Government to make rules
(1) The Central Government may, by notification, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-
(a) the qualifications and experience which a Protection Officer shall possess under sub-section (2) of section 8;
(b) the terms and conditions of service of the Protection Officers and the other officers subordinate to him, under sub-section (3) of section 8;
(c) the form and manner in which a domestic incident report may be made under clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 9;
(d) the form and the manner in which an application for protection order may be made to the Magistrate under clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 9;
(e) the form in which a complaint is to be filed under clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 9;
(f) the other duties to be performed by the Protection Officer under clause (i) of sub-section (1) of section 9;"
(g) the rules regulating registration of service providers under sub-section (1) of section 10;
(h) the form in which an application under sub-section (1) of section 12 seeking reliefs under this Act may be made and the particulars which such application shall contain under sub-section (3) of that section;
(i) the means of serving notices under sub-section (1) of section 13;
(j) the form of declaration of service of notice to be made by the Protection Officer under sub-section (2) of section 13;
(k): the qualifications and experience in counselling which a member of the service provider shall possess under subsection (1) of section 14;
(I) the form in which an affidavit may be filed by the aggrieved person under sub-section (2) of section 23;
(m) any other matter which has to be, or may be, prescribed.

(3) Every rule made under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.

IV. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005: An Evaluation

On 26th October, 2006, the central govt. notified this Act in the official gazette. The Act aims at providing protection to women from Domestic Violence faced by them with in 4 walls of their houses. This Act represents a major victory for women’s rights in India. Importantly, the new law, which criminalizes the abuse of a woman by her spouse, partner or other males in the household, recognizes the abused woman’s right to secure housing. Sections 18-23 are the soul of this Act, these sections of the Act provide a large number of avenues for an abused women to get relief. She can get through the courts, Protection orders, residence order, monetary relief order, custody order, for her children, compensation order, and interim/exparte orders.

VIII .Importance of this Act of 2005
1). The applicant under this Act will be only women (includes not only wife but mother, sister also).

2). This Act is enacted for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

3). This Act protects women against violence of any kind specially that occurs within the family. Important advance made by the Act is understanding the nature of domestic violence has been in the combination of civil and criminal remedies.

4). It provides woman’s right to reside in the matrimonial or shared household whether or not distinguished between married women and women who are in live in relationships. It provides equal protection to them from abuse at the hands of their partners.

5). There has been an effort in this Act to simplify and make more effective issues of the method of filing a complaint of domestic violence and of obtaining relief under it. It also simplifies the procedure for an aggrieved person who wishes to file a complaint; the Act allows anyone who may be a friend or an NGO or even some stranger who has witnessed a domestic violence incident, can file a complaint in this regard to the protection officer.

6). This Act makes it mandatory for the Magistrate hearing a case within 3 days of the complaint being filed. The Act ensures speedy justice as the court has to start proceedings and have the first hearing within 3 days from the date of filing of the complaint and every case must be disposed of within a period of 60 days of the first hearing of the case.

7). The law also addresses sexual abuse of children and forcing young girls to marry against their will.

8). Another high light of new law is the appointment of counselors to help the litigating parties. The women have option of lodging an FIR and not pursuing it after counseling. These are also other options like compulsory medical attention, right to stay in the home where she faced abuse protection, temporary shelter.

Despite from all these important merits there are some demerits also, which are discussed below:-

1. If in a case of violence, the complaint has been give to both the Protection Officer as per the Domestic Violence Act and to the police under section 498-A of IPC respectively and both submits their reports to the Magistrate. Double Enquiry to the same offence is a demerit.

2. Since the matter is related to the members of the family and there is already the provision of family court, hence matter related to the domestic violence should have been sent to the family court. There is no necessity of creating a new forum for the said purpose.

3. Likewise, there is provision of police for investigating the matter in the CrPC, who has to submit report before the Magistrate. As per the procedure of this Act, the police and Protection Officer both can investigate the matter and submit their report before the concerned Magistrate. Thus it is clear that a new agency has been created for no reason, it is only a burden to the exchequer.

4. As per the section of 12 of the Act, it has been enacted that apart from the aggrieved person, the protection officer or any other person on behalf of aggrieved person may present an application to Magistrate seeking one or more reliefs under this Act. This goes up to suggest that there is an apprehension of misuse of this Act by the ill mongers. They may file false application with an intention to disturb the peaceful life of the couple or other member of the family by filing frivolous application.

5. The concept of live in or living relationship which is very common in western countries is sought to be legalized by the act in question which is neither permissible nor possible in view of the moral values followed in our society.

6. The women facing domestic violence with in the four corners of their homes need to be protected from domestic violence faced by them. But it cannot be a reason to recognize immoral and illegitimate relationship.

7. The intellectual abuse has been missing from the definition of domestic violence.

IX. Conclusion and Suggestions

I am the woman who holds up sky.
The rainbow runs through my eyes.
The sun makes a path to my womb.
My thoughts are in the shape of clouds.
But my words are yet to come."

Even the Former President of India is woman; the status of women in India is not satisfactory. In India women’s status has been subject to many great changes over the past few millennia. From the equal status with men in ancient times though the low points of medieval period, to the promotion of equal rights by many reformers, the history of women in India has been eventful. In modern India, women have adorned high offices in India including that of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition etc.

Every year the International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March. But from the above discussions, it can be said that women have been and still are physically weak. It is being submitted that Act has been enacted wit ha view to eliminate the continuing atrocities over the women but due to the aforesaid discussion there are more chances of misuse of the process of this Act of 2005 by evil members of the society.

The Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (effective from 26th October, 2006) and the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Rules, 2006 are the milestones for the protection of women and girls from Domestic violence.

Still the woman is treated as a second class citizenry. They are in back seat far from the men. Though the half of world's population is women, still they suffer even of 21st Century on days, the course of discrimination. The women comprise 66% of the world's illiteracy and 70% of the world's poor. Therefore the problem spells for establishment of a just and equitable social order, where no body can be treated or exploited by another as unequal. The Convention and Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women is main foundation of rights in respect of women to which 166 countries including India are members till date. The Convention inter alia recognized that the discrimination against women in some areas hampers economic growth and detrimentally hampers the society at large.

Now a woman and a girl can tell to the legislator that you committed the mistakes in perpetually empowering us. The first mistake, you brought us out of curtain by customs. The second "mistake, you constitutionally empowered us, the third mistake you legally empowered us by various enactments and fourth mistake, you fully empowered us by special legislations and fifth and final mistake once we are empowered, your power is insufficient to put us again behind the curtain.

The law itself becomes failure though not fully and it becomes necessity for enacting the Special Legislations. Perhaps these grounds and national and international bounties compelled the Indian Government to enact the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005 and to spread over a Special legislation on domestic violence for making restrictive provisions for errant family members for prohibiting harassment or any violence against women and girls.

A new Chapter XXA was added in the Indian Penal Code in the year 1983 for punishing husband and his relatives for subjecting a woman to cruelty. This section provides imprisonment of 3 years and with fine. Concurrently the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 was also amended by this Amending Act by inserting section 113A and 113B. Accordingly the burden of proof of innocence was shifted to accused in case of abatement of suicide by married woman within seven years of marriage. The Amending Act also inserted section 198A in Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 whereas a court can take cognizance of the offence upon police report or upon complaint by party or women's parents, brother, sister, etc.

The object of adding the Chapter XXA in Indian Penal Code is to protect the wife where she is subject to cruelty but not to disrupt the family life where the husband and wife inspite of some previous misunderstanding intend to stay together, it should be the duty of Court to encourage such rapprochement and allow them to live as husband and wife rather than to disrupt the family prosperity by forcing the wife to pursue a" criminal proceeding on the facile nay, fatuous plea that the offence alleged is not compoundable.

The provision of section 498A was enacted to meet the social challenge to save married women from being ill-treated by husband and his relatives?

In a case held that a person could be convicted both under section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and provisions under section 498A of Indian Penal Code, only because it does not create any situation for double jeopardy.

The Indian polity more or less has always tried to cope with the contemporary need-based development of laws for the specified purposes. It may be in the field of Human Rights, Civil Rights, Constitutional Rights or Social Transfer. Still the judiciary always inspires directly or indirectly to meet the challenges as per need, either by precedents, directions, or suggestions etc. The Supreme Court in a case observed that "it is well accepted by thinkers, philosophers and academicians that if JUSTICE, LIBERTY, EQUALITY and FRATERNITY, including social, economic and political justice, the golden goals set out by the Preamble of the Constitution, are to be achieved; the Indian polity has to be educated and educated with excellence.

This is because the Constitution is not to be construed as a mere law, but as the machinery by which laws are made. The Constitution is a living and organic thing which, of all instruments has the greatest claim to be construed broadly and liberally.

Article 14 and 16(4) of the Constitution intend to remove social and economic inequality to make equal opportunities available. In reality the right to social and economic justice envisaged in the Preamble and elongated in the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of the Constitution, in particular Articles 14, 15, 16, 21, 38, 39 and 46 are envisaged to make the equality of the life of the poor, disadvantaged and disabled citizens of the society, meaningful.

The Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act; 2005 provides for more effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family. The Act is not gender neutral as it is completely beneficial to women only. According to the Act any harm, injury to health, safety, life, limb or well-being or any other act or threatening or coercion, etc. by any adult member of the family, constitutes domestic violence. Any woman who is or has been in a domestic or family relationship, if it is subjected to any act of domestic violence can complain. Aggrieved or affected woman can complain to the concerned Protection Officer, Police Officer, Service Provider or Magistrate. Aggrieved has a right to be informed about the available services and free legal services from the protection officer etc. Shelter home and medical facilities can be provided to aggrieved woman. The proceedings of the complaint can be held in camera. Every aggrieved woman has a right to reside in shared household. The protection order by Magistrate can be given in favour of aggrieved woman. The monetary relief can be given to the aggrieved woman to meet expenses or losses. The appeal can be made to Sessions Court within 30 days from the order of concerned Magistrate. The imprisonment can be made upto 1 year or a fine upto Rs. 29,000 or both for breach of protection order by the opposite party. The Protection Officer can be prosecuted upto 1 year imprisonment or with a fine upto Rs, 20,000 or both can be imposed for failure of his duties.

This Act covers those women who are or have been in a relationship at a point of time and both parties have lived together in a shared household and are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage or adoption. In addition, the relationship with the family members, living together as a joint family is also included. Even those women who are sisters, widows, mothers, single women, or living with the abuse are entitled to legal protection.

This Act has been enacted keeping in view the rights guaranteed under "Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India besides the provisions made under sections 304B and 398A of Indian Penal Code Sometimes in the History of judiciary in India and elsewhere the judge interprets the law on many grounds viz., social customs, relationship of parties, legislative intend etc. For such act of judiciary the law is corrected beforehand of new amendment or new legislation. The good judge who interpret a particular fact and issue with the sorrowing factors. Every Legislative drafting is not correct in full extend. Some drafting leaves the people to raise an eyebrow for comments. Specially the legislation on matrimonial issues requires many aspects of judicial interpretations. The sensitive judges do not forget the cause and effect of matrimonial, issues and its impact on contemporary society.

The Supreme Court in case of Dastane v. Dastane in relation to the above issues held that the foundation of a sound marriage is tolerance, adjustment and respecting one another In case of Vinita Saxena v. Pankaj Pandit,held that each case depends on its own facts and must be judged on its facts. Therefore all the special legislation depends upon the judge concerned for its proper use and application. Sometimes the special legislation suffers in the line of general legislations and it travels beyond its proper path. Hence it is upto a judge to give importance to the legislative intent as well as the Justice to victim which can stand as deterrent effect to the perpetrating accused and the society.

In India too, domestic violence is a punishable offense under the law, even if only rather recently. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, which became effective starting October 26, 2006, clearly recognized domestic violence as a punishable offence. However, the recent shaming of the US—a country that has innumerable times more extensive legal protections and services for domestic violence survivors-provides a moment of pause from comparing the wide (perhaps incomparable) chasm between the two legal systems and rather understanding a sad commonality. Laws alone cannot curb violence in the homes as long as domestic violence continues to be treated ‘special’. When it comes to such crimes, we often hear: “There must be two sides to the story” or “they both have strong personalities” or “he is frustrated since he lost his job.”

Suggestions

Violence against women in the private realm is relegated to secondary status, whether in India or in the United States. Strong laws and public policies are essential steps toward combating such violence. But the real solution lies in a culture shift, in the world, and in each of our homes. Apart from the above International Legal Standards discussed in chapter IX, the belowgiven are the some of the measures and suggestions in context of India which if taken in its full form may placate and curve the menace of the Domestic Violence in India. These are as under:

1. Agencies
A wide variety of agencies exist which offer services in cases of domestic violence viz. Family court, Vanitha cell, Police station, Family Counseling Centre, Women’s Commission, People’s Council for Social Justice, and religious institutions.

2. Awareness generation and sensitization
(i) Awareness about gender equality and women’s rights should be instilled in boys and girls from a very early age in order to bring about a change in the mindset of the future generation;

(ii) Stigma attached to victims of domestic violence should be removed by conscientising the community through outreach programmes;

(iii) Legal literacy camps should be conducted on a regular and systematic basis at the local community level;

(iv) List of NGOs and governmental organizations dealing with women’s issues should be made known to the public;

(v) Health care providers such as doctors, nurses, and other Para-medical staff should be properly sensitized to treat women experiencing violence;

(vi) Sensitization programmes should be organized for the policy makers,

3. Health care support

(i) Domestic violence should be recognized as a health issue;
(ii) The prevalence and the health consequences of domestic violence should be documented;

4. Counseling

(i) Pre-marital counseling should be made compulsory; post-marital counseling is to be arranged as follow-up, in order to prevent breakdown of families.

5. Fostering Self-Employment among Women

A woman entering into the business is not uncommon today. In fact more and more are keen on choosing business as a career. The following are considered to be the major contributory factors: the influence of women's movement, changing psychological attitude of women, the need to maintain a decent standard of living amidst the rising cost of living, gender discrimination in the labour market, restricted vertical mobility and above all the rising aspirations of women to lead an independent assertive life, and finally facilities offered to women for starting enterprises. Upper middle class and middle class women with the required education and information are comparatively better off in venturing into business when compared to the poor illiterate, marginalized women. There is a general awakening among women about their secondary status. They do follow various strategies to overcome subordination and to fight against gender related disadvantages directly and indirectly. Of many strategies, Self-employment is considered to be the best because it not only helps to change women's own self perception but also helps to attain social status.

6. Laws

(i) Separate laws should be enacted to deal with domestic violence;
(ii) There should be strict laws for the prevention of vices such as alcoholism and drug addiction and social evils such as the dowry system;

7. Judiciary

(i) There should be a special court with a woman judge and magistrate in each district to handle domestic violence cases;
(ii) Only women magistrates should try cases of violence against women;
(iii) Mobile courts should be introduced as an effective strategy to provide justice to the victims of domestic violence;
(iv) Law enforcement should be done by the co-ordinated efforts of police

8. Role of Government

(i) Government should ensure proper enforcement of existing laws related to women’s rights;
(ii) Women should be made aware of Women’s Commission; offices of the Women’s Commission should be opened at the district and lower levels;

9. Role of police

(i) Police should be trained to be respectful and courteous to women in distress;
(ii) A separate wing of police may be opened for dealing with women’s issues, in all police stations and personnel of this wing should be exempted from other duties;
(iii) Only women police officials should be allowed to handle cases involving women;

10. Role of Media

(i) Discussions on women’s issues with victims and key personnel could be promoted through the media, to give a new venue to the airing of the complaints and finding solutions to the offences;
(ii) Media should be used to sensitise the officials and the public about domestic violence so as to develop a positive attitude towards women in general, and women victims, in particular;

(iii) Censoring of the programmes should be implemented effectively, so that violence and negative impact programmes do not get undue attention of the public. What specific provisions of law deal with domestic violence? Educated women are aware of their rights; they are no longer willing to follow commands blindly. When they ask questions, it causes conflicts, which, in turn, leads to violence. In many Indian states, working women are asked to hand over their paycheck to the husband and have no control over their finances. So, if they stop doing so or start asserting their right, there is bound to be friction. In 1983, domestic violence was recognized as a specific criminal offence by the introduction of section 498-A into the Indian Penal Code. This section deals with cruelty by a husband or his family towards a married woman. Four types of cruelty are dealt with by this law:

i) Conduct that is likely to drive a woman to suicide,
ii) Conduct which is likely to cause grave injury to the life, limb or health of the woman,
iii) Harassment with the purpose of forcing the woman or her relatives to give some property,

iv) Harassment because the woman or her relatives is unable to yield to demands for more money or does not give some property. The punishment is imprisonment for up to three years and a fine. The complaint against cruelty need not be lodged by the person herself. Any relative may also make the complaint on her behalf. Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code covers dowry-related harassment. The Indian Penal Code also addresses dowry deaths in section 304-B. If a woman dies of "unnatural causes" within seven years of marriage and has been harassed for dowry before her death, the Courts will assume that it is a case of dowry death. The husband or in-laws will then have to prove that their harassment was not the cause of her death. A dowry death is punishable by imprisonment of at least seven years. On 23rd June 2005 the cabinet approved the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Bill, after which it received assent from Parliament. This approval brings to the fore a new civil law on domestic violence, which provides immediate emergency remedies for women facing violence. These include: protection orders; non-molestation orders; and the right to reside in the shared household.

The Last Word
Woman must not accept, she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her. She must respect that woman in her which struggles for expression. Achieving women's empowerment is not a “quick-fix”. It will take sound public policies, a holistic approach and long term commitment from all development actors. Women's empowerment is both a right and “smart economics”. In the ultimate analysis, empowering women is empowering society. Better women make better homes, a better society, and help us men to better our best!
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Bibliography

Books References
-The Constitution of India; VN Shukla, 10th Edi. 2001
-History of India; From Beginning to 1526 A.D. 15; V.D Mahajan,
-P.K. Das, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence, 4th ed., 2011
-The Protection of women from Domestic violence Act with Rules and Allied laws, ed.2008; Ashok D. Ippe,
-Hindu Law, Paras Diwan
-Mohammedan Law (Rev 1995); Aquil Ahmed
-Human Rights in India; Problems and Perspectives (Ed. 1996); B.P. Singh,
-Women in India, 1975; Kamla Manekar
-Social Problem and the Family (ed. 1993); Rudi Dallas and Evgen McLaughlin

# Codes and Acts Referred
-The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
-The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Rules, 2006
-The Constitution of India
-The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
-The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
-The Indian Penal Code,1860
-The Indian Evidence Act, 1872
-The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987
-The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
-The Hindu Succession Act, 1956
-The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929
-The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971
-The dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
-Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994
-Female Infanticide Prevention Act, 1870
-Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act,1987

#  Newspapers
-The Tribune
-The Hindu
-The Times of India
-Hindustan Times

# Report
-Report of National Commission to Review the working of the Constitution

# Magazines and Journals
-Lawteller
-Indian Panorama
-AIR Journal
-Indian Economy
-Pratiyogita Darpan 2006 5[1].
-Innocent Digest No. 6 - June 2000,
-Economic and Political Weekly
-Frontline (April 12, 2002
-Lawz June 2008
-Indian Journal of Medical Sciences; 2007
-Chronicle Year Book 2011

#  Websites and Article References
-Virtuous Women, http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/virtuous-women/
-Domestic Violence Against Woman: Legal Control and Judicial Response; www.vedamsbooks.com
-Domestic violence, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence
-India Life expectancy at birth; www.indexmundi.com
-Maternal & Child Mortality and Total Fertility Rates Sample Registration System (SRS); http://censusindia.gov.in
-The Definition of Cruelty in the American Heritage Dictionary; www.thelawencyclopedia.com
-Commission of Human Rights, Social Report on Violence against women its causes and consequences; www.unige.com
-Female Foeticide and Infanticide in India: An Analysis of Crimes against Girl Children; http://www.sascv.org
-Violence Against Women, UN Commission of Human Rights, Thematic Report; www.unique.com/humanrts/commission/thematic
-Honour Killing in India: An In-depth Study; http://www.youthkiawaaz.com
-Gender, Equity, and Indigenous Women’s Health in the Americas; http://www.uniteforsight.org
-Domestic Violence and Abuse Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships; http://helpguide.org
-Amnesty International Report, “Women Singled out for violence, www.furnitureforpeople.com
-Problems and Concerns Status of Women in India; http://www.smeworld.org/story

# Virtuous Women, http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/virtuous-women/ visited on 21/3/12
# Preeti Misra, Domestic Violence Against Woman: Legal Control and Judicial Response; www.vedamsbooks.com/no 47672.html
# Pratima Sharma, Domestic Violence Against Woman as an Emerging Human Right Issue: International Perspective; Lawteller 2006 p. 447
# See supra note; 2
# http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence visited on 22/3/12
# Dr. Malvika Karlekar; Countering the Threat of Violence against woman; Govt. if India, Deptt. Of Women and Child Development; Ministry of Human Resource Development, (1995) p. 98
# S.K Ghos; Indian Panorama; Triumphs and Tragedies, Vol. III, 1999, p 1019
# Domestic violence in India: 18 lakh girl children die in two decades,in Times of India jan.7 ,2012
# (1981) 1 SCC 608.
# http://www.vakilno1.com/legal-news/supreme-court-constitutes-guidelines-for-determining-live-in-relationship.html
# Preeti Misra, Gender Justice, Some Issues, AIR Journal (2001) p. 149
# Neshla, Atrocities Against Women (1997) p. 203
# Ram Ahuja, Rights of Woman; A Feminist Perspective, (1992) p. 1
# V.D Mahajan, History of India; From Beginning to 1526 A.D. 2003, p. 50
# Indu Banga, Jaidev; Cultural Reorientation in Modern India (1996) p. 117
# Truota Desai, Women in India: A brief Historical Survey (1992) p. 10
# Dr. Lila Samatani, Status of Women in Vedic Times, (1987) p. 10
# Ibid, p. 12
# Indian Economy, Pratiyogita Darpan 2006:,
# Dr. Altekar, The Position of Women in Hindu Civilization: Retrospect and Prospect, 3rd ed. (1962) p. 336
# Rinki Bhattacharya, Behind Closed Doors: Domestic Violence in India, (2004 Ed.) p. 32
# Ibid, p. 35
# Ibid, p. 36
# Indu Banga, Jaidev; Cultural Reorientation in Modern India (1996) p. 117
# id. p. 112
# Indira J. Parikh, Pulin K. Garg, Indian Women: An Inner Dialogue (1989) p. 85

The various women oriented Legislations during the British Rule:
1. Widow Remarriage Act, 1856;
2. Civil Marriage Act, 1872;
3. Married Woman’s Property Act, 1874;
4. The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1924;
5. The Prevention of Prostitution Act, 1923;
6. The Hindu Inheritance Act, 1929

The various women’s organization active during this period were:
1. Bangal Mahila Samaj, Ladies Theosophical Society;
2. Bharat Strimahamandal, 1910;
3. Women Indian Association, 1917;
4. National Council for Women in India, 1925;
5. All India Women’s Conference, 1927

# Srinivasa v. State of Karnataka, AIR 1987se 1518: (1987) 2 sec 692; Keshaoananda Bharati v. State of Kerala, (1973) 4
# sec 228: AIR 1973 se 1461; State of Tamil Nadu v, Abu, AIR 1984 se 326: (1984) 1 sec 515. p. 95
# According to 2001 census:
1). Sex ratio is 933/1000;
2). Literacy rate of female is 53.7%;
3). Total fertility rate; 2.9 births per female;
4). Maternal Mortality rate 401 (per 100000 live birth);
5). Life expectancy at birth; 66.9 (2001-06)
# Indian Economy, Pratiyogita Darpan 2006:
# http://censusindia.gov.in/MMR; visited on 22/3/12
# http://www.indexmundi.com/india/life visited on 22/3/12
# Subhash Chandera Singh, Equal Partnership in Marriage and Family Relations, AIR/5 (1999), p. 65
# http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyamev_Jayate_(Season_1) 17 June 2012
# Innocent Digest No. 6 - June 2000; Domestic Violence Against Women and Girls
# Mononita Das, Cruelty: A part and Parcel of Domestic Violence: The Legal Relief for Indian Women, Indian Bar Review vol. XXX (4) 2003 p. 681
# Sec. 13 (1)(a) of Hindu Marriage Act 1955
# Aquil Ahmed, Mohammedan Law (Rev 1995)p. 115-16
# Jayana Kothari, Criminal Law on Domestic Violence; Promises and Limits, Economic and Political Weekly, Nov. 12, 2005p 4
# The Definition of Cruelty in the American Heritage Dictionary, www.thelawencyclopedia.com, Thomas Gale
# MA Strauss, RJ Gelles, C. Smith: Physical Violence in American Families, Risk Factors and Adaptation to Violence in 8,145 Families (1990)
# Commission of Human Rights, Social Report on Violence against women its causes and consequences, Mrs. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Submission in accordance with commission on Human Rights resolution 1995/85: www.unige.com/humanrights/commission/matics52/53-womhtml
# Frontline (April 12, 2002)p. 99; see also the International Human Rights Treaty on Against Women (CEDAW) 1979
# R. Revathi, Law Relating to Domestic Violence (2004)p. 41; see also Articles 2, 3, 4, of CEDAW
# The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 p. 5
# Bina Aggarwal, Capabilities, Freedom and Equality – Amartya Sen’s Work for a Gender Perspective (Ed. 2006) pp. 347-353
# Domestic Violence Act, Lawz Bureau, Lawz June 2008 p. 25
# Arun Gaur, Violence behind closed doors: The Tribune
# [53] Domestic Violence Against Women in India; https://editorialexpress.com/cgi bin/conference/download.cgi? db name=IAFFE2009&paper_id=16, visited on 20/1/12
# 35 percent Indian women victims of domestic violence: UN, http://news.oneindia.in/2011/07/08/35-percent-indian- women-victims-of-domestic-violence-un-aid0155.html
# B.P. Singh, Human Rights in India; Problems and Perspectives (Ed. 1996) p. 156
# Force laws against sex determination test: The Hindu, (April 6, 2006) p. 13. The sex ratio in age group of 0-6 all over the country has come down from 976 in 1961 to 927 in 2001.
# Female Foeticide and Infanticide in India: An Analysis of Crimes against Girl Children; http://www.sascv.org/ijcjs/snehlata.pdf, visited on 22/3/12
# Sex Ratio keeps getting worse; The Times of India, Dec 11, 2006 p. 10
# Bihar is third among country’s states in child marriages, The Hindu (Dec 26, 2006) p. 3
# Swaminathan S. Ankelesaria Aiyyar, End of Poverty; TIO, Dec 17, 2006, p. 8
# Ratan Kapoor, Long Way to Go, Times of India (Jan 8, 2007) p. 12
# Violence Against Women, UN Commission of Human Rights, Thematic Report; p15, www.unique.com/humanrts/commission/thematic52/53
# Domestic Violence Against Women in India; https://editorialexpress.com/cgi bin/conference/download.cgi?db_name=IAFFE2009&paper_id=16, visited on 20/1/12
# See section 376 of IPC
# See section 3 of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005
# Chetan Chauhan, New Sati Law to go After Family, Hindustan Times, (April 24, 2006) p. 11
# Kamla Manekar, Women in India, 1975 p. 7
# Rinki Bhattacharya,
# V.D Mahajan, History of India; From Beginning to 1526 A.D. 2003, p. 50
# Hillary Mayell, Thousands of Women Killed for Family "Honor"; http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/ as visited on 10/03/12
# Honour Killing in India: An In-depth Study; http://www.youthkiawaaz.com, visited on 10/03/12
# Rinki Bhattacharya,
# Commentaries on laws of England (1775) as quoted in R. Revathi, Law Relating to Society (2004) p. 26
# See section 3; explanation (iii) of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
# Section 3 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
# Rudi Dallas and Evgen McLaughlin, Social Problem and the Family (ed. 1993) p. 22
# Swapna Majumdar, Sexual Control and Violence – The Tribune (August 10, 2003 p. 1)
# Section 3 of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005
# Carrel Patemen & Mary Lyndon Shanley Feminist Interpretations and Political Theory (ed. 1991) p. 172
# Kum Kum Sangai, Umachakaravarti, Myths to Markets; Essays on Gender (ed. 1999) p. 333
# “Barriers to Health Care for Abused Latina and Asian Immigrant Women.” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 11.1 (2000): 33-44. visited on 16 November 2010 http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_health_care_for_the_poor_and_underserved/v011/11.1.bauer.html.
# Hughes, J. “Gender, Equity, and Indigenous Women’s Health in the Americas,” visited on 22 January 2012. http://www.uniteforsight.org/gender-power/module3
# Rudi Dallas and Evgen McLaughlin, Social Problem and the Family (ed. 1993) p. 22
# Chandrasekaran, V., Krupp, K., George, R., et. al. “Determinants of domestic violence among women attending an human immunodeficiency virus voluntary counseling and testing center in Bangalore, India.” Indian Journal of Medical Sciences. (2007).
# Domestic Violence and Abuse Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships; http://helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm; dated 6-3-2012
# Sheela Sarvan, Violence Against Women: A literature Review (March 2000) p. 53
# V.D Mahajan, History of India; Form Beginning to 1526, (2003) p. 86-92
# http://www.gov.mu/portal/site/cisd, visited on 18/3/12
# Amnesty International Report, “ Women Singled out for violence, (March 2004) p. 2, source: www.furnitureforpeople.com/amnestyrep/html
# Indian Evidence Act, 1872 – Bare Act, Universal Publishing Co.
# See chapter VII Special Legislation On Domestic Violence In India
# P.K. Dass, Protection of Women from Domestic violence, 4th ed. 2011, p. 129
# P.K. Dass, Protection of Women from Domestic violence, 4th ed. 2011, p. 214
# P.K. Dass, Protection of Women from Domestic violence, 4th ed. 2011, pp. 214,215
# P.K. Dass, Protection of Women from Domestic violence, 4th ed. 2011, p. 215
# P.K. Dass, Protection of Women from Domestic violence, 4th ed. 2011, p. 216,217
# Brought into force on 26.10.2006 vide S.O. 1776(E), dated 17th October, 2006, published in the Gazette of India, Extra., Part II, dated 17th October, 2006.
# Vandhana v, T. Srikanth, 2008(1) R.C.R. (C) 365 (Madras H.C.)
# See for more detail, The Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
# Section 4 of the Act
# Section 12 (4) of the Act
# Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence- Lawz Bureau, Lawz, January, 2007, p. 12
# Minal M. Bapat, “Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005; A New Direction to Ensure Women’s Safety in the Home: CrLJ (July 2007 – Journal Section p. 176)
# Domestic Violence Act, Lawz Bureau, Lawz, June 2008, p. 25
# Richa Raman, “The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005”- CrLJ, Feb, 2009 (Journal Section, p. 1920)
# Niraml Chopra, “The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005”-CrLJ, Mar, 2007 ,(Journal Section, p. 55-56)
# P.K. Dass, Protection of Women from Domestic violence, 4th ed. 2011
# Chronicle Year Book 2011, Women’s Right in India p. 48
# See supra note 119 p. 20
# P.K. Dass, Protection of Women from Domestic violence, 4th ed. 2011
# P.K. Dass, Protection of Women from Domestic violence, 4th ed. 2011, p. 3
# P.K. Dass, Protection of Women from Domestic violence, 4th ed. 2011
# P.K. Dass, Protection of Women from Domestic violence, 4th ed. 2011, p. 67
# Ibid
# Dastane v. Dastane AIR 1975 SC 1534
# Vinita Saxena v. Pankaj Pandit, AIR 2006 SC 1662
# P.K. Dass, Protection of Women from Domestic violence, 4th ed. 2011
# Law Resource India indialawyers.wordpress.com/category/domestic-violence/ visited on 22/3/12
# http://www.smeworld.org/story, visited on 15/3/12

 




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Article Comments

Posted by Renu Chaudhary on June 17, 2016
I've been abandoned by my inlaws,brutally beaten and abused, and they
have kept all my belongings including cash and gold, I got married in 25
February 2016, I've registered a police complaint against them and also
filed a case under dowry act but even the police is not taking any
action in this matter now I'm nine months pregnant and living at my
parents house and my inlaws are least concerned about the child. Kindly
help me. Thank you

Posted by bilal on April 30, 2016
these topic are very intrested for protection of women law


Posted by SANAY KUMAR on April 18, 2016
My father is 74 years old and exhibiting symptoms of psychological disorders. He is adamant to get treatment.

I have been telling this to him for more than a year he is behaving more aggressively and misbehaving with ladies at home and outside. My mother died long ago because of his attitude. I am now unable to tolerate or bare him right from the past 16 years i am taking care after his retirement all his deposits and retirement benefits were taken away by his elder son now i have three kids and i am not well have other commitments and health issues. I have personally made heavy expense on him for his medical necessity and other stuff available for him. Recently, some of my father sisters asked to take care of him by his elder son but he is denying nor at anytime paid him money or taken care of him in the past 16 years, I am very vexed up. The mother earned all these properties what he had but after her passing away my brother has stolen some articles when he was with his first wife in 1995 and after my mother death he entered by disposing plots, and other assets. Hence i kindly request to help me how can i approach court for legal action againts my brother to take care of my father from nowonwards since now i have my own problems and i have born heavy expenses on my father alone and what action can be taken for his misbehaving with womanhood.

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