June,22,2015: Last week Madras High Court observed-'Inherent flaws in Law tempt women to misuse the legal provisions and men to dread being prosecuted'.
A court in Delhi has dismissed a woman's complaint of domestic violence against her husband and in-laws, noting that she misused legal provisions as a tool to extort unjustified money from him for unjustified personal gain, and imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on her.
Metropolitan Magistrate Shivani Chauhan dismissed the complaint of the woman, a south Delhi resident, saying that she had falsified and concocted various allegations and suppressed important facts in order to harass her in-laws.
The court said that generally women are at the receiving end of domestic violence and the Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence (PWDV) Act is created solely with a view to provide relief to the victims of domestic violence and not to the perpetrators.
It, however, noted that "the testimony of the complainant (woman) throws light on the conduct of the complainant and the extent, to which she has falsified and concocted various allegations and has suppressed important facts in order to harass the respondents (husband and parents-in-laws) and had misused the PWDV Act as a tool to extort unjustified money from respondent no 1 (husband) for unjustified personal gain."
"It is a fit case which calls for imposition of exemplary cost on complainant, so that like minded people are dissuaded from resorting to such mala fide practices," the court said, while dismissing the woman's complaint with a cost of Rs one lakh, to be deposited in the account of Blind Relief Association.
"The imposition of cost is in furtherance of the principle that wrongdoers should not get benefit out of frivolous litigations," it said.
In her complaint against her husband and in-laws, she said she got married in November 1989 at Patna and it was a love marriage.
After the marriage, however, the differences between the couple grew and she was harassed physically and verbally by her husband while her in-laws turned a blind eye towards the issue, the complaint said.
Recently Madras High Court Bench here has observed that Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 suffers from inherent flaws which tempt women to misuse their provisions and men to dread being prosecuted under the law without any rhyme or reason.
Dismissing a writ petition, Justice S. Vaidyanathan said: “The notable flaw in this law is that it lends itself to such easy misuse that women will find it hard to resist the temptation to teach a lesson to their male relatives and will file frivolous and false cases.
“One can be certain that there is something sinister about a law when it intimidates and instils fear in innocent people. When a person who has not committed any crime begins to fear punishment under the provisions of a law, it will certainly create panic amidst men.
“Now-a-days, filing cases under the Domestic Violence Act by women has become a common one. Therefore, a neutral and an unprejudiced law is needed to protect the genuine victims of domestic violence irrespective of their gender.”
The judge also said that a similar trend of misuse was observed in the case of Section 498A (a woman being subjected to cruelty by her husband or his relatives) of the Indian Penal Code.
It forced the Supreme Court to term such misuse of Law as ‘legal terrorism.’
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