DV Act: HC slams couple on misuse

A Delhi court has slammed a woman petitioner and her husband for misusing of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005. According to the court, the couple had tried to hide a property dispute in the family behind this petition and were trying to reaffirm their property claim.

In a media report, noting that Sunita Devi connived with her husband to file the petition against her in-laws, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said: “The intent of the Act is to protect the value system and institution of family. The misuse and abuse of the Act is a matter of serious concern for courts who must ensure that a woman petitioner is not made a puppet in the hands of her male relatives so as to manipulate the Act and use it for ulterior motives.

The court was hearing the appeal of Sunita, who had appealed against the March order of a Metropolitan Magistrate, dismissing her petition under the Act. The appellant said that her brother-in-law and sister-in-law requested shelter at her Delhi house in July 2008. Since then they abused her verbally and physically and with the brother-in-law even tried to kill her under the influence of alcohol, she claimed. The court noted that none of the parties have papers to establish their ownership over the property constructed by DDA, and the home in which Sunita was living with her husband was separate from the one that her in-laws were residing in. The domestic incident report also revealed that when Sunita came to live in the house, her husband and in-laws were already residing there.

The court said, “The attempt of the appellant is to ensure division of property and create her right under the garb of the petition. It is clear that she and her husband have collusively filed the petition by camouflaging a dispute. Such kind of abuse of the special legislation should be checked at the earliest.”

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