Abuse of domestic violence Act brought to HC notice

Implemented in 2006 for the protection of the fairer sex, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act has apparently turned unfair for women.
In a clear-cut departure from the intended purpose of safeguarding the interest of women in general and housewives in particular, the provisions of the Act are being – on the face of it – misused to proceed against women. In one such case, a woman lodged a complaint against four of her women relatives, even though the law reportedly prohibits initiation of proceedings against the same gender.
Bringing the alleged violation of the norms to the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s notice, Manjit Kaur of Sangrur and three others urged the Bench to quash the complaint dated January 20, 2009. The complaint, under Section 12 of the Act, is currently pending before Patiala judicial magistrate first class.
One of the petitioners is complainant Pooja Rani’s mother-in-law, while the other petitioners are her sister-in-laws.
As the matter came up for hearing, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur in her order observed the petitioners were women; and had been summoned under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. As per Section 2 (q), complaint for offence under the Act can be filed only against “adult male persons”, and not against women.
Justice Nirmaljit Kaur also took note of the fact that the petitioners were placing reliance on the judgment of Madhya Pradesh High Court in the case of Ajay Kant versus Alka Sharma. Issuing notice of motion on the petition, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur also directed stay on further proceedings as far as the “present petitioners” were concerned. Before parting with the order, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur also fixed May 27 as the next date of hearing in the case.

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