The Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was enacted with a view to give protection to women from domestic violence. However, the misuse and abuse of Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is a matter of serious concern for the courts today. A careful screening of the complaint is required to ensure that the complaint so filed by a woman under this law is not manipulative or a measure to take revenge against a man.
The main purpose of the Act was to protect the women against abuse/violence and not to create a civil right to file a suit without any reasonable cause.
Major drawbacks of this Act
There major drawbacks of this law are as follows:
a) Preference to women:
The Act assumes that only women are victims. As per this law, only a woman can file a complaint against against a man. A man has no rights under this law.
According to Section 32(2) of the Act, the court concludes that the testimony of the victim (woman) is always true and there will be no need for any supportive evidence to prove that an offense has been committed. This is very dangerous for innocent men since they are left with absolutely no remedy against the women who can anytime lodge false complaints due to certain grudge or revenge against them.
b) Potential chances of misuse:
Secondly, there are potential chances of its misuse. If a woman lodges complaint that there was a verbal and emotional abuse by her husband, then she needs to prove nothing.
According to Section 18 of this Act, a magistrate can take measures to protect the woman from any acts of violence that are even likely to take place in the future. This means that the woman get a upper hand in protection and the person against whom they have complained can be punished, even though he may not have committed any act of violence and there may be only a chance of occurrence of the violence in the future.
This Act also says that the information regarding an act of domestic violence does not necessarily has to be lodged by the woman herself but can be lodged by any person who has reason to believe that such an act has taken place or is being so committed. That is even the neighbors and relatives can take an initiative on behalf of the victim. This is a sheer injustice because anyone can lodge a complaint on behalf of the woman without any authentic proof or evidence.
The fact that the complaint lodged by a woman will be always treated as true and genuine opens up potential chances of misuse where innocent men will be accused and implicated of false charges.
c)Definition of domestic violence:
The third drawback of the Act is that the definition of domestic violence is not well defined.
An insult is also considered as a domestic violence. It is true that differences may arise in a marriage anytime since there may be lack of proper understanding between the couple. Many people try to work on this and try to sort out their differences. While some women approach the court even for minor issues and thus, men feel threatened by the enactment. This law will therefore lead to more divorces and breakdown of a family.
The law at present is grossly inadequate to tackle the problem of domestic violence. It makes women more superior to men. According to our Constitution, we all have equal rights, irrespective of caste, creed, gender etc. This means that the law should offer equal protection to both men and women. Moreover, the law needs to be made more practical by defining what constitutes domestic violence punishable under this Act. When a person who has not committed any crime is threatened under the law, it is a sheer injustice to that innocent person.
Many women in nowadays, wilfully misuse the protection under the act. Because of this many genuine husbands,in-laws are affected. Many girls to get rid of the marriage,as they fell love with somebody,use this protection.
When the parents of boy laying some basical conditions on marriage like good marriage hall and good looking offerings in the marriage halls, well jwells for bride etc., and if the parents of the bride accepts, the pride is only goes to the bride's family not to the bridegroom's family. But this normalcy also wrongly twisted as dowry problem and leads them to court of law.
In many cases, such genuiness is there, the police should enquire carefully and cautiously and they should try to solve amicably - in a common place - not in Police Station, instead of violently acting by just supporting the women. If the mistake is confirmed, they need not wait for anything and they can simply remand them.