Domestic violence caused by sister-in-law

by | Jan 29, 2017 | 0 comments

My sister-in-law is very greedy and tortured me because she did not get proper respect from my parents. However, I used to ignore but currently, she has attempted one and more occasions to assault me. She is influential and my husband is not ready to listen to a single word against her. Being victimize of such violence I have decided to take appropriate legal action against her. Can I file a case against her under the domestic violence act? 

Question from - Criminal Law | Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Act 2005 provides effective protection of the rights of women who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family. Preamble of the Act says that “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.”

This Act is very comprehensive and protects woman from violence committed against her in her shared house hold either in any of the way like physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic abuse. It is not desired by the Act that violence must be caused by male member of the shared house hold. Section 3 of the Act is gender neutral so order can be passed against the female members of the shared house hold.

In your case actual violence is caused by her sister-in-law and clandestinely supported by her husband and mother-n-law. In this situation case shall be filed against the female relatives of her husband. In Sandhya Manoj Wankhede vs Manoj Bhimrao Wankhede (2011) 3 SCC; the supreme court has held that according to proviso of section 2(q) of the Act case of domestic violence may be filed against the relative of the husband.

Relative of the husband is also included in the definition of “Respondent” as defined under section 2(q) of the Act. If such relative is not included, then grave injustice may be caused to the aggrieved person and object of the Act shall be ruined by the woman member of shared house hold. You can file case against her sister-in-law for the offence committed under the domestic violence act.

Eviction of your sister from shared house hold by her sister-in-law is an act of violence and appropriate remedy is provided under the domestic violence act. In P. Harsora v. Kusum Narottamdas Harsora, (2016) 10 SCC 165; supreme court has opined that

“Section 3, therefore, in tune with the general object of the Act, seeks to outlaw domestic violence of any kind against a woman, and is gender neutral. When one goes to the remedies that the Act provides, things become even clearer. Section 17(2) makes it clear that the aggrieved person cannot be evicted or excluded from a shared household or any part of it by the “respondent” save in accordance with the procedure established by law.

If “respondent” is to be read as only an adult male person, it is clear that women who evict or exclude the aggrieved person are not within its coverage, and if that is so, the object of the Act can very easily be defeated by an adult male person not standing in the forefront, but putting forward female persons who can therefore evict or exclude the aggrieved person from the shared household.”

Thus it is evident from the above case laws that you can file case against her sister-in-law.

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