Woman drags dad, brother to court for domestic violence

NEW DELHI: Till now, women, either married or in live-in relationships, initiated proceedings against husbands or partners under Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. But in a rare instance, a married woman lawyer has dragged her parents and brother to court under DV Act.

The advocate rang up her parents on July 23 last year and said that she was being assaulted by her husband. Her father and brother rushed to her matrimonial home. The woman lodged a complaint with the police and came to live with her parents in their New Ranjit Nagar flat in West Patel Nagar area of New Delhi.

On November 20 last year, she filed a complaint under DV Act against her parents and brother in a Patiala House court alleging that she was physically assaulted, mentally tortured and forced to vacate her parent’s house.

She alleged that during her stay in her parent’s house from July 24 till November 6, when she was forced to vacate, she was initially pressurized to go back to her matrimonial home. When she refused, she was physically and verbally assaulted, not given food and asked to pay money every month for her stay.

Metropolitan magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria on January 8 held the complaint to be maintainable against the father and brother and summoned them to appear before the court on February 24.

Her father and brother rushed to the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of the January 8 summoning order on the ground that the complaint under DV Act was not maintainable against them.

Appearing before Justice Manmohan Singh, their counsel Uday Gupta argued that the parental home of the complainant could not be termed “a shared household” under the DV Act as it applied to the place where her husband lived.

Citing a case law, Gupta further told the court that the Supreme Court had interpreted Section 17(1) of the Act to say that “the wife is only entitled to claim a right to residence in a shared household, and a shared household would only mean the house belonging to or taken on rent by the husband, or the house which belongs to the joint family of which the husband is a member”.

After hearing arguments, Justice Singh entertained the petition by the complainant’s father and brother, issued notice to her and stayed proceedings before the Patiala House court till March 26.

The father made an impassioned plea before the HC. “Parents keep taking care of the child even after the children become independent. Imagine the plight of the parents when the child they have brought up together, and for whom they have together spent sleepless nights, drags them to court for selfish objectives,” he said.

Source: The Times of India


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