The above being criminal remedies, a civil remedy was brought into the picture in 2005 (amended in 2006). This was called the “Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act”.
For the purpose of this act, Domestic Violence includes the demand for dowry:
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.
This act empowered the lower courts to issue “protection orders” on the complaint of a woman against her male relatives. The protection orders could include restraining orders on the husband and others, monetary compensation, and residence orders Mumbai/Pune.
Though it is a civil remedy, violation of protection orders results in criminal penalties (including imprisonment).
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, popularly called as Domestic Violence Law or DV provides variety of rights to women victim of Domestic Violence.
Such rights include the claim of monetary relief, rights to residence, compensation for domestic violence, protection order, and child custody amongst other reliefs.
Domestic violence Act has come into force with the objective of expeditious disposal of the claim of women who are victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence complaint is filed in the Court of Magistrate who is empowered to pass exparte orders. Domestic violence has come into force with the objective of providing economic justice and independence to women victim of domestic violence.
Domestic violence law specifically provides the right to residence. A right to residence includes in living in the shared household irrespective of the fact whether the wife has right, title or interest over the property/residence. This specific provision is inserted in Domestic Violence law to arrest the menace of abandoning the woman and children, if any, without roof and shelter in case of matrimonial disputes. DV Act also provides for alternate accommodation. Hence, law cast a mandate on the husband to provide residence to the wife. Such residence can be shared household where husband and wife lived together and made such house as their matrimonial house. Alternatively, the law mandates husband to provide alternate residence comparable to the one previously enjoyed by the wife while living together.