I would like to get basic guidance on how to proceed against domestic violence?

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Domestic violence defined as causing physical or mental injury causing by doing violent acts in demand of money or properties or by verbal abuse or by sexual abuse by means of sexual acts or by economic abuse depriving of all financial means to the aggrieved women or to persons related to her. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 deals with domestic violence issues.

Any person or the aggrieved person due to domestic violence approach the protection officer available in nearest police station where such domestic violence committed, file a complaint  with Protection Officer under Section 498A of the IPC and Section 12 of the said Act with Protection officer. Alternatively, Non-Government Organizations whose objective is to protect the rights of the women, may register complaints of domestic violence, and forward such complaints to Magistrate or police officer having the jurisdiction.  The Act contemplated reliefs under sections 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22 such as protection order, monetary relief, custody order, residence relief, or compensation order respectively.

Magistrate may order counseling initially to sort out the issue amicably between the parties. Free legal aid also contemplated in the Act to the victim.  Magistrate empowered to conduct in-camera proceedings if circumstances necessitated to do so.

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Court may order shared household to the victim with Respondents and victim could not be evicted without the permission of Court. (Deepak Kumar Vs. Smt Vandana, before Hon’ble Patna High Court order dated 22-07-2014).

Protection orders may be passed restraining the Respondent to commit any act of domestic violence on the aggrieved person; to prohibit the communication made to the victim by persons related to her or alienating any properties of Stridhan or any property jointly held or any property held by Respondent without leave of court as stated.  (P.Babu Venkatesh vs Rani before High Court of Madras dated 25/3/ 2008 and Shanavas Vs. Raseena order of Kerala High Court on 10/12/2010).  Magistrate may order monetary reliefs such as maintenance to victim and the child. Concerned police officer designated where the Respondent resides executes monetary relief order.

If Respondent not complied with order under Act, Court may order Respondent’s employer or even debtor to pay or deposit ordered amount with court to the aggrieved person from wages/salary of Respondent. Non-compliance of the orders under Act be severely punished by the way of one year imprisonment or fine up to Rs. 20,000 or both.  Order pronounced under this Act could be enforceable throughout India.

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by Anitha Gutti