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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

The Delhi Commission for Women main aim is to protect women from all kind of  harassment and it has worked extensively in this aspect over the years till date: -

     

The harassment of women ranging from physical beatings, emotional torture, mental abuse, sexual abuse, threat of violence, denial of basic necessity such as food and maintenance or where there are children, there is the additional blackmail that custody of the children will be denied to her if she does not fall in line, every kind of help and support, its provided to women who approach the Commission.  It is no solace to be told that women can go to court for her rights.  As going to Court itself is a long drawn process and torture, and very extensive often the women are simply abandoned and deserted with no means of sustenance.

 

Another very common form of violence is she taking of a second wife.  It makes no difference that bigamy is crime, many men continue to believe that they have a right to home extra martial affairs. Statistics indicate that women in this society do not own property or she matrimonial home, which belongs either to she husband or to his family members.  The man is therefore literally the lord and master of the home and hence considers the women to be just a worker in the house mostly and more prove to violence.

 

However, there are also situations in which people have laid together in what has come to be described as common law manages for several years and such women too face violence within the relationship.

 

It is clear that any law on domestic violence, which seeks to present it, must address all these problems and very fundamentally, must protect the right to reside in the “Shared household.” The term ”shared household” is preferred over “matrimonial home”. Since the relationships protected are beyond matrimonial ones. It is the fact of being together in a common space, the intimate nature of the relationship, the privacy of the home and the unequal relations of power that provide the opportunity for the abuse of women.

 

Factors that determine the success of a domestic violence law.

 

It is therefore be clear to us that the success of any law on domestic violence depends on the following factors: -

 

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A declaration of basic intent of the law, namely, the object of preventing domestic violence;

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A clear and unambiguous statement of the right to be tree from domestic violence and the recognition of domestic violence as a violation of the human rights of the women;

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The definition of domestic violence, which captures women’s expensive of abuse with some degree of precision;

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The definition of the shared household so that rights can be protected within that household;

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The relief that can be given to protect the women from violence;

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The infrastructure available to victims of violence that can make the remedy accessible;

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Clarity and simplicity of Court procedures;

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Monitoring of the functions of the law, as it serving its intended purpose;

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Providing a coordinated respond to domestic violence by recognizing the role of other agencies such as NGO’s the medical profession, shelter homes and the police in assisting the prevention of domestic violence. 

 

The Government of India passed a Bill on 8th March, 2002 on Domestic Violence.  The Government of India Bill defines “Domestic Violence” as follows: -

 

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for the purpose of this Act, any conduct of the respondent stall constitute domestic violence if he, 

 

 
  1. habitually assault or makes the life of the aggrieved person miserable by cruelty of  conduct even if such a conduct does not amount to physical ill-treatment,

  2. faces the aggrieved person to bad an immoral life or

  3. otherwise injuries or harms the aggrieved person.

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Nothing contained in clause (c) of the sub-section (1) shall amount to domestic violence if the pursuit of course of conduct by the respondent was reasonable of his own protection or for the protection of his or another’s property.

 

The United Nation framework for model legislation on domestic violence states.  “All acts of gender-based physical and Psychological abuse by a family member against women in the family, ranging from simple assault to aggravated physical battery, kidnapping, threats, intimidation, coercion, stalking, humiliating verbal use, forcible on unlawful entry, arson, destruction of property, sexual violence, marital rape, dowry or related violence, female genital mutilation, violence, related to exploitation through prostitution, violence against household workers and attempts to commit such acts shall be termed ”Domestic Violence.”

 

Though the Govt. of India Bill has been criticized by different organization in India. They say that Govt. of India bill fails to define domestic violence and washes itself off the responsibility of defining it and leaves it to judges to decide.  This leaves too much to the mercy of the judge and too little to the rights of the person aggrieved.  The definition does not use the language of rights and uses instead the outdated concept of conduct, making ”The life of an aggrieved person miserable.” It does not even define cruelty.  There is in the Govt. of India Bill, a persistent denial to recognize that domestic violence exists and the need to articulate its various forms.  This definition will defeat the very purpose of the law and will render its meaning less for women, if not make their position worse.  

 

We, in the women’s movement have a long battle ahead of us getting the government to politically commit itself to pass a law on domestic violence is a victory no doubt but an incomplete one.

 

In a democratic country citizens have a right to participate in the forming of legislation.

 

 We must insist that: -

 

 
  1. “Domestic Violence” is defined in accordance with the UN framework for model legislation on domestic violence.

 
  1. The right to reside in the shared household is included.

 
  1. The law should enable judges to pass orders of residence, restraining dispossession, restoring possession. 

 
  1. Law should enable grant to monetary relief, custody and compensation.

 
  1. There should be no procession for mandating counselling for the women. 

 
  1. Protection officers are appointed through an open process of inviting applications from all qualified persons through advertisements in a transparent manner. 

 
  1. A suspended warrant of arrest is attached to the protection order or in the alternation. Violation of a protection order is an offence which 15 cognizable and non-bail able. 

 
  1. The government commits substantial funds for the appointment of protection officers and for the implementation of the Act.

 
  1. Widest possible publicity of the law is given.

 

  1. The government provide for training of the law enforcement machinery.

 

  1. The coordination for the prevention of domestic violence is appointed.

 
  1. Legal aid to victims of domestic violence should be readily available.

   

The Delhi Commission for Women also discussed the bill extensively and few suggestions have been given by the lawyers and members of the Commission and justified there suggestions which are being sent in regard of proposed Bill for Domestic Violence.  It is also being stated that suggestions has been incorporated according to section of proposed by bill which are as follow: -

 

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section 2 (d) of this proposed Bill deals with definition of monetary relief.  In this regard, it is being suggested that monetary relief to aggrieved person should be linked with the status of accused.

 

 

 Otherwise, this will give the scope to accused to hurt the aggrieved person again.

 

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section 4 (1) of this proposed Bill deals with Meaning of Domestic Violence. This section of proposed Bill covers only that act which is done by male members.

 

 

In this regard, it is being suggested that this definition does not cover that act which is done by females. There should be mentioned a word which can cover the act which is done by both males and females.

 

 

For example, in some cases the violence is caused by sister-in-law/mother-in-law, etc. In this situation this word ‘He’ which is mentioned in definition of proposed Bill will remain in sufficient.

 

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this proposed suggestion in regard of section 4, suggested to amend suitably because the existing provision of proposed Bill provides some scope of safeguard to accused Person therefore it is being suggested to amend this provision suitably.

 

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section 5 of the proposed Bill, deals with the appointment of Protection Officer. In this regard, it is being proposed that the role and the process of appointment of Protection Officer should be transparent and well defined so that appropriate/ qualified person may be appointed.

 

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section 12 of the proposed Bill, deals with the assistance of welfare expert. In this regard, it is being proposed, a coordinator for prevention of domestic violence should be appointed with in society with the help of voluntary organization, which works for family related issues.

 

 

This will help to aggrieved person to come out from society and encouraged to file on application from weaker section of society.

 

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this proposed Bill does not cover violence against domestic servants.  Thus, this proposed suggestion will entrance the coverance of the Bill and more aggrieved persons of society would be cover by this amendment.

 

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this is in regard of section 11 of proposed Bill, which deals with counselling.  In this regard, it is being proposed that mandatory word may be dated and nature of  counselling for victim should be Psychological. Therefore, both parties can lead their life smoothly and peacefully.

 

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section 12 of proposed Bill deals with assistance of welfare expert. In this regard, it is being suggested that the guidelines for the welfare expert should be well defined so that he/she can provide his/her service in right direction.

 

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this suggestion also being made that the right of aggrieved person to live in her matrimonial home should be unconditional and clearly brought out.

 

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this is also justified because a aggrieved person who faces violence does not want to go back because of the violence.  If a woman restored to her matrimonial home, there is no guarantee for further victimization.  Thus, there should be mandatory law directly a woman (victim) to be restored to matrimonial home.

 

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in this proposed Bill, it is not specified that where should an application be made by an aggrieved person.  Thus, the jurisdiction of the complainant should be made clear.