Sunday, October 4, 2009

Even HC Judges confused about PWDVA

Here is a news report which covers many of the points about applicability of PWDVA to women as 'respondents', as defined in Sec 2(q) of the act.

An excerpt from the news story:

The lower courts and high courts across the country differ on this issue. The Madhya Pradesh HC has held that complaint can be filed and proceedings can be initiated against adult male persons only under DV Act. In one case, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has taken similar view that women cannot be made respondents, but in another case a division bench of the same high court took a different stand.

The division bench in AP High Court on June 2 this year concluded that the complainant under DV Act has to be a woman and if she is a wife, the female relatives of husband can be named as respondents. Thus, DV Act does not exclude women completely.

It is interesting that now the topic of discussion has shifted to how some women can only file complaints under PWDVA, and some women can only be at the receiving end of it. At what end of the stick you find yourselves is decided based on your relationship to a man. A woman being wife or even live-in partner entitles her to wield the stick, but any other woman relative of a man should be ever ready for getting beaten by the stick.

As regards the act itself which was deemed as 'clumsy drafting' as per SC judgment in 'Batra vs Batra' case, it surely seems the handiwork of certain lawyers who banded together in the name of women protection. Surely their clumsy and shoddy work can only entitle them to be called as Lawyers Defective, however that is the subject of another post...

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