Mumbai high court has said that family court has the jurisdiction to levy penalty for violation of protection order under PWDVA (Domestic violence act).
It is another matter that the obscene fart called PWDVA states that a protection order violation is ruled merely on verbal complaint without any verification/corroboration, so it remains to be seen if the family courts will now get clogged by false cases by women about violation of protection orders, and drive out the truly needy women.
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has held that family courts can try and punish persons for violating protective orders passed under the special law to protect women from violence—the Domestic Violence Act. Justice Roshan Dalvi rejected the argument that only a magistrate is empowered to conduct trials in such cases.
“An interpretation of a legislation, specially a protective legislation as the DV Act, must be such as to enhance justice and not to frustrate it,” said the judge.
Under the DV Act, the courts can pass protection orders, that include directions to the accused to cease from continuing with acts of violence against the victim woman or child. It can also pass restraining orders, prohibiting the accused from entering the victim’s place of work or trying to communicate with her. Section 31 of the DV Act, says any violation of the protection order can result in criminal proceedings and if held guilty, the accused can be punished with a jail of up to one year and or a fine of Rs 20,000.
The court was hearing the case of Pune-based woman, who while pursuing a divorce case against her husband in the family court also sought protection for her self and her child under the DV Act. When the woman complained of a breach of the protection order, the family court ruled that it did not have the jurisdiction to try the case.
However, the husband’s lawyers said that while the family court could grant an order for protection from domestic violence, it had no jurisdiction to levy penalty for breach of the order. The criminal proceedings can only be heard by a magistrate, his advocate claimed. The HC did not agree. “This would be to say that the law which grants the relief does not grant the remedy.