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An estimated 8-minute read


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Today the world scenario holds the position in which crime against woman is doubling with passage of time. In primal times, women were regarded inferior to men and were subjected to some pitiful acts which are continuing since time immemorial.

Be it a girl child or fully grown women, most of them are subjected to some kind of violence in their lifetime. Females are ill treated, beaten and abused again and again and then expected to keep mum about it. And if they are aberrant, they are further suppressed by the norms of the society of what is right and wrong according to them.

These type of activities which not only forces a woman to stop and think before doing anything, but to live in constant fear of being beaten up by her own so called well-wishers, to be trashed and cheated by her own relatives, this inhuman activity is called domestic violence.

Domestic violence or domestic abuse typically occurs between people who are in an intimate relationship[1]. Most often the abusers are husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends or intimate partners.

Domestic violence includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Both men and women can be victims of domestic abuse, but females are most often the victims. Domestic violence is one of the most common forms of violence and happens in most societies all over the world.

A survey report that was taken showed on the inspection that most of the protection officers got the complaints of domestic violence which can take many forms and variations and can happen once in a while or all at the same time.

Domestic violence can be Psychological Abuse, Social Abuse, Financial Abuse, Physical Assault or Sexual Assault. Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault or injury (hitting, beating, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (forced sexual activity), or stalking.

Sexual violence particularly needs to be recognized as a form of cruelty not only because of its high prevalence within marriage but also because the definition of rape within Sec 376 IPC specifically excludes marital rape as an offence.

Section 498A does not address these different forms of violence specifically, and addresses “cruelty” very generally, as any act that is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life. As a result, it often is at the discretion of the police officer to assess whether the sexual abuse or verbal and psychological abuse faced by a woman from her husband or in-laws would qualify as cruelty under Sec 498A or not.

Out of these verbal and physical abuses were the most common of all and the mental state of the victim is greatly affected which lead to others trauma’s in their social being.

But from past years and so, many steps have been taken by government to put an end to all of these. The protection of women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005 was one such act which was initiated in order 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.

However, this act has failed miserably in its purpose to provide complete justice to the females all over the world. The total number of cases that were related to domestic violence recorded by the protection officer amounted to 10 to 12 every week which means 1 or 2 cases every day. This number can rise up to a shocking 100 to 500 cases per month. The only positive outcome of this act has been creating awareness which has helped women all over the country to come out of their closet and fight for the injustice delivered to them.

The procedure involves lodging of complain to the protection officer or the police station who divides the cases into certain criteria wherein he sends the victim to the protection officer themselves. The protection officer types in the domestic incident report wherein she mentions the condition in which the victim had approached and the various problems that were faced by her.

The government has laid emphasis that usually the protection officer provided is a female herself but however the writing of DIR is not considered necessary and has no value as such. This proves out to be a flaw in the act as well since the person who has submitted her complain is left with no other way to add to her complains which could have been suffered by her after the writing of DIR.

The act also does not insists the protection officer appointed to be a lawyer which proves to be inconvenient to the departments as well as the victims as well in the procedure of providing speedy justice.

After the complain is written in, the court then gives a date for the hearing and summons are sent to the respondents to appear in the family court or a mahila court and is presented in front of a metropolitan magistrate. However it is common that usually the respondents do not even turn up for the hearing. In such cases after three summons, and after that, a warning is been given to the respondents.

In this Act[2], one cannot say that government has taken all the specific measures while drafting of this act or even if it has then why the implementation is not that effective? What are the further developments in this act? How does this act helping in preventing the misuse of dowry probation act of 1961 wherein rich women use it with malice for gaining a property. These were some of the question raised while talking to some of the protection officers of social welfare community and women and child welfare.

The act does not elaborate points like compulsion of a protection officer to be a lawyer neither does it pay attention towards the proving of man power to the different departments. The act mentions the maximum period for solving of a case within 2 months or in a period of 60 days, however the amount of pending cases on the magistrate makes it almost impossible for the victim to get relief within the time period. So in other words the cases just keep on piling up like stacks.

Seems like the theory formulated by Eugene Ehrlitch has implication in this aspects as well. According to him, there are two kinds of norms found in the society, on is norms of conduct while the other is norms of decision. One depends upon the actual behavior of a humans while the other loosely translated arises from the statutes and enactments laid down by law.

Domestic violence act of 2005 which came into existence on 13 September 2005 for raising the status of women, by protecting them, just seems to be of those acts that have just been started by the judiciary for name sake with no proper motive what so ever.

The number of cases increases every hour, but it seems that only those cases which have a certain weight upon them are solved quickly. Money seems to be one of the most essential criteria in this act. One of the cases involved husband bribing his wife’s lawyer for a false report.

Women who are housewives fall prey under this act. They are not working and hence completely dependent upon their husband but most importantly are not aware of their rights. Therefore, most cases involve them being treated like an animal by their man.

One of the cases held sexual harassment of a lady by her husband in a one room house in front of their child (14 yrs) who could understand what was happening around and was asked to turn his back by his father while his own mother screamed.

Another such case included bigamy wherein the previous wife being unable to give a heir to her husband was taken out to satsang by her mother in law while her husband maintained a extra marital relationship ( which is called adultery[3] according to sec 497 of IPC which states that whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extent to five years or with fine or with both) with the servant who was finally able to conceive a child for him. The man’s wife being unaware of this later came to know of it after seeing her name as the child’s mother; afraid of being thrown out of the house, she filed a complaint under domestic violence. She demanded for a residence order and a divorce, till date no decision as such has been taken.

This is excruciating to see that women who were once considered to be goddess are now treated as dirt and steps taken to help them are inadequate. It seems that either judiciary is too busy looking into other economic development matter, but then it would be contradictory because we still haven’t reached any such great development. So the main question is that, what is our government doing???

Because this act seems to one of the schemes of government to make people believe that a constitutional body is present in the country which is there to draft acts because something is better than nothing.

So next time when you feel that you are being mistreated either own a large bank balance or file cases under IPC, which increases the probability of actually getting justice.

What government ought to do is appoint lady officers responsible for this act in the police station itself since it’s the first place an aggrieved person thinks of when subjected to any kind of mistreatment.

Secondly, emphasis should be laid on appointment of protection officers who have knowledge of law and the act.

Submission of DIR should be mandatory which should be updated parallel to the case proceedings.

Service providers or manpower is an important issue which was raised by the officers themselves.

And lastly, bribing of lawyers and other officials should be punished sternly.

Then may be in coming years, instead of judicial system being referred to have lost sight of its ultimate objective of every legal system which is to arrive at truth, punish the guilty and protect the innocent, people might not lose their faith in law and actually look up to it.



Chanakya National Law University, Patna

3rd year (BA. LLB Hons)


[1] Journal of women and domestic violence PUCL vol. 9


[2] Official site of supreme court of India bare act

[3] [3] Official site of Indian Penal Code.

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