The “Bride sentenced to death for dowry” “School going child dies of his injuries after being beaten up by father” “A 70 year old man killed in property dispute” All this and nothing else, randomly turn to any newspaper and you will find reports of such violence all over the country, all these are what we come to know through different forms of media.
There are more cases like this that we don’t even realize that go unreported every day. In fact include cases we do ourselves or those we see in the neighborhood but to reduce the incidence of hesitate to take any step.
In the olden days it was considered mandatory to have any ritual , no social or religious ritual could be complete without the presence of a women but the women who once held the position of home lakshmi , today she has become a mere escort and house maid.
Domestic violence is not only a problem of developing but it is also very prevalent in developed countries.“Article 14 of the Indian Constitution stipulates that no person shall be deprived of equality before the law or equal protection of the laws by the states”.
“Article 15 makes it clear that the state shall not discriminate between citizens on the basis of religion, origin, caste, sex, place of birth. Our constitution clearly states that men and women have equal rights. Not only this, special provision has been given for women in clause 3 of this article.
But despite the establishment of equality for all persons in the Constitution, there is no equality between women and men.
Women are treated very discriminatory, one of them is Domestic Violence.1 It is undoubtedly a related issue of human rights and it is a serious obstacle in the development of human rights. The Vienna Agreement 1994 and the Beijing Declaration and Forum for Action 1995 also recognized domestic violence as a human rights issue.
Domestic violence is a reflection of our pseudo-civilized. Violence has no place in the grand world but the number of cases reported every year raises a high alarm
And this is not the whole picture as in most of the cases in everyday life registered or unnoticed. This is a very dangerous trend in our society and has to be dealt with iron hands.
Violence is erupting in our society, it is present almost everywhere and somewhere this explosion is right behind the doors of our homes. Across our country, people are being harassed, beaten up behind closed doors in homes. This is also happening in rural areas, towns, cities and metros. It crosses all social classes, gender, racial lines and age groups. It is becoming a legacy from one generation to the next. The possible causes are many and varied across the length and breadth of the country. According to a United Nation Population Fund report, nearly two-thirds of married Indian women are victims of domestic violence and 70% of married women aged 15 to 49 in India are beaten, raped or forced into sex are victims of the same and more than 55% women in India are victims of domestic violence, especially in Bihar, U.P., M.P. and other states.
This violence is towards any person with whom we are in a relationship whether it is wife, husband, son, daughter, mother, father, grandparent or any other family member. There is atrocities against other men or women. Anyone can be a victim and a victim. This violence has a tendency to explode in various forms such as physical or emotional.
Domestic violence has been an intrinsic part of the society in which we live in ancient times. Contributing factors may include the desire to gain control over another family member, the desire to exploit someone for personal gain, and the fear of being in a commanding state. Situations reflect one’s dominance at all times. And so forth, psychological problems and social influences also mix in on different occasions.
Women and children are often the soft targets. The situation in Indian society is really dire. A large number of deaths are taking place on a daily basis only as a result of domestic violence. Illiteracy, economic dependence on male folk and otherwise male dominated society are some of the responsible factors of the problem. Dowry is a major factor that results in violence against newlywed brides.
There are many other factors in urban areas which create differences in the beginning and later take the form of domestic violence. These include higher income for the working woman than her partner, her absence in the house till late nights, abusing and neglecting her in-laws, being more socially ahead etc.
Working women are often assaulted by employees and forced into sex. Sometimes it can also be on its own for better pay and designation in the offices.
There is also violence against young widows in India. Mostly they are doomed to death of their husband and deprived of proper food and clothing, remarriage is not allowed or encouraged in most of the households especially in rural areas. There have been cases of molestation and attempted rape of women in large families or by other family members.
Any woman who is a victim of violence in a domestic relationship can pray to the court to get a protection order and domestic relations here include all those relationships in which a woman lives with someone else, such as from birth ,after marriage , Adoption or living in a joint family includes those who live as husband and wife without lawful marriage.
Women in our society have to face many such situations which are considered common or minor in the domestic environment but in this law it can be considered as domestic violence.
Whether or not the accuse/accused by doing all those acts or by his behavior gives rise to domestic violence, if harm or injury to the aggrieved person (herein the woman) or danger to health, safety or harm to life or limb or mental and bodily pleasure or any such attempt or attempt has been made to cause such physical harassment, sexual harassment, verbal or emotional harassment or economic harassment includes injuries or causes injury or endangers life to compel the aggrieved person or any of his relatives to agree to unlawful conditions because of dowry, other property or valuable security or put life in danger, forced you to entertain them. Any act or act that is sexually related or that degrades your reputation belittles and is repugnant there to verbal and emotional abuse, economic violence, dowry related pain.
But the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 provides for remedies in the protection law for women being victims of domestic violence, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 and the President approved this act on 13 September 2005 and this act came into force on 26 October 2006.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 came into force on 26 October 2006 according with this act —
The incidence of domestic violence is widespread in India. Before the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, there was no law relating to domestic violence in civil law. Prior to this Act, acts of cruelty to a woman by her husband or his relatives Indian Penal Code was an offense under section 498.2
‘Naina Sahni’s Tandoor Murder Case3 in New Delhi in the year 1995 is one such horrific incident of a woman in which she was burnt in a tandoor by her husband. This incident was the result of suspicion of Naina Sahni’s extra-marital affair. Naina Sahni was the victim of the tandoor murder case. Sushil Sharma objected to his wife Naina Sahni’s friendship with Matloob Karim. Matloob and Naina were classmates and fellow Congress workers. Sushil suspected Naina of having an extramarital relationship with Matloob. On the night of 2 July 1995, Sushil came home and saw Naina talking on the phone and consuming alcohol. Naina, on seeing Sushil, hung up. Sushil redialed the phone to find Matloob on the other end. Enraged, he fatally shot Naina. He took the body to a restaurant called Bagiya and tried to dispose it off with the restaurant manager, Keshav Kumar. The body was put in a tandoor (clay oven) to burn. Police arrested Keshav Kumar but Sharma managed to flee. He surrendered on 10 July 1995. The case also involved the use of DNA evidence to establish the identity of the victim.
The first postmortem was conducted at LHMC Delhi, the cause of death was opined to be burn injuries. The second postmortem was ordered by Lieutenant Governor Delhi, which was conducted by a team of three doctors from three different hospitals headed by T D Dogra. They detected two bullets in head and neck region, opined cause of death due to firearm injuries. With that, the course of investigation changed and the actual story came to light. This case is a landmark citation for fruitful second autopsy.Delhi Police investigated the case and filed a charge sheet on 27 July 1995 in a Sessions Court. On 7 November 2003, Sushil Sharma was sentenced to death and restaurant manager, Keshav Kumar, was given seven years rigorous imprisonment.Sharma appealed against District Court Judgement in Delhi High Court trial court judgement. The Delhi High Court upheld the lower courts’ decision. In 2003, a city court awarded him death sentence which was later upheld by the Delhi High Court in 2007. In 2013, the SC commuted his death sentence stating that there was “no evidence” of Sharma chopping his wife’s body. On 8 October 2013, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjana Desai and Ranjan Gogoi of the Supreme Court upheld Sharma’s conviction. However, the court commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment because Sharma doesn’t have a criminal antecedent and it is not a crime against society, but it is a crime committed by the accused due to a strained personal relationship with his wife..On 2 July 1995, she was killed by her husband Sushil Sharma, a Congress youth leader and MLA. Naina herself was a worker in the Congress party. Sushil Sharma was convicted for the murder by the Trial Court, Delhi High Court and Supreme Court. On 8 October 2018, Sharma was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court. This led to marital discord and domestic violence against them.
On other causes we can see an another cause of physical abuse in smt.shalu v/s rahul kumar singh4 ( application under section 12 of protection of women from domestic violence act 2005 ) in which she stated that submits that with time the cruelties upon her increased whereby respondents used to beat her mercilessly and demanded a dowry of Rs.5 lacs from her threatening her that she will not be allowed to live in her matrimonial home. Specific allegations have been made upon rahul kumar singh her husband (R1),smt.omwati her mother in law(R2) and Ms.rajni sister in law(R4) in this regard. She further alleges that she faced caste discrimination at her matrimonial home whereby they compared her to a poor and characterless lady. Putting specific allegations upon R1, petitioner claims that he is a habitual consumer of liquor and he used to beat her in routine manner with legs, fists and blows.they all strted torturing her.they used to beat her mercilasly and demanded a dowry of Rs.5 lacs.in which all facts are noted by court and the complaint of the petitioner is decided and all relief are accordingly answered.
Compensation u/s 22 of DV Act.she sought a compensation of Rs.10 lacs from the respondents for injuries including mental torture and emotional distress caused to her by the acts of domestic violence committed by them upon her. However, on account of the discrepancies in her case as already discussed above, this Shalu vs. Rahul Kr. Singh & ors. [U/s 12 DV Act] 10 / 11 court is not inclined to grant any compensation in her favour with respect to R2 to R4. However, R1 being her husband, has the responsibility of the Petitioner upon his shoulders and without any doubt he is neither giving any companionship nor maintenance to the Petitioner. Thus, R1 is directed to pay a compensation of Rs.50,000/- to the Petitioner within two months from the dates of this order
In serious cases, the accused can also be sent to jail, this law has been made so that woman can feel happy and safe in the said environment.
At the same time, it is equally true that the relationship cannot go away easily, nor is it easy to be separated from the house, in such a situation, this law gives an opportunity to improve his environment. The court can stop the perpetrators of violence through a protection order, yet if the situation does not change then further action can be taken.
If we really want to make an “India free from violence against women” then the time has come that we should discuss this matter collectively in a way. A good way could be that we can create a nation-wide separate and start a Prosperous Social Campaign.
1.DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT 2005
2.Hindustan times of India retrived18 dec 2020-article on protection of womens from domestic violence.
3. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/504254/-naina Sahni murder case
4. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/45441732/- Shalu v/s Rahul kumar singh u/s-12 DV act.
Author- Abhishek Nagar (NCPE College Of Law)