'Marriage not necessary for relief under the DV Act'

Women who are in a live-in relationship can get relief under the Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence Act, a city court has said.

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'Marriage not necessary for relief under the DV Act'

NEW DELHI: Women who are in a live-in relationship can get relief under the Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence Act, a city court has said, asserting that the law was not only for married victims.

"A woman, even if she is not a lawfully married wife but has only been having a live-in relationship is entitled to protection under this Act as the relationship is a domestic relationship," Metropolitan Magistrate Praveen Singh said.

Describing the objects of the women-friendly legislation in letter and spirit, the magistrate in a recent order said that any woman, who being in a 'domestic relationship' of any kind, is subject to domestic violence, can seek protection and relief under this Act.

The court also pointed to another important aspect of the DV Act, asserting the reliefs under it are separate and independent remedies and a victim could not be denied respite on the grounds that she has filed petitions under any other law as well.

"The protection provided to woman under this Act is separately available apart from the other remedies available under any other law and pendency of the proceedings under other laws is no bar to filing a petition under the DV Act and granting of relief under it," it stated.

The court's observations came while deciding a petition by complainant Bindu Kirpal, who had sought various reliefs under the DV Act from her 'husband' Arun Kirpal and step daughter Neha Kirpal.

Her petition was vehemently opposed by the respondents claiming she was not entitled to any relief as she was in a live-in relationship and was not lawfully married to Arun as per Hindu rites and rituals.

It was further contended that since her petitions for maintenance under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and Hindu Marriage Act were pending, she was constrained to extract any monetary relief from the present complaint.

The magistrate, however, dismissed Arun's pleas and said that after it was proved that she was in a domestic relationship with him and that violence was perpetrated on her, there was no bar on the court under the DV Act from granting her relief.

Allowing Bindu's plea, it restrained Arun from communicating with her or any of her relatives and directed him not to sell a house at Defence Colony here, a shared household of the couple.

The court has also asked Arun to provide her an alternate accommodation as she was not willing to stay with him anymore and to give her Rs 10,000 per month towards her expenditure.


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