In a significant ruling that will help many women who are victims of domestic violence, the Delhi High Court Monday said the case can be filed any time if the action has happened.
Justice V.K. Jain, setting aside the order of the trial court on the basis that the legislation came in 2006 and the complainant suffered domestic violence in 2005, said: “This approach will give a message of discrimination.”
“The petition under the Domestic Violence Act is maintainable,” the court said.
The court was hearing an appeal by a woman who sought maintenance and accommodation under the Domestic Violence Act but whose petition was earlie rejected by the trial court.
Hearing the appeal, the high court observed, “It is a historical reality that women in our society have been subjected to discrimination, misbehaviour and ill-treatment, not only inside their house but also outside.”
The court expressed unhappiness over the fact that besides the act, relief is yet to be seen for women and they are still suffering at large.
“If the court takes the interpretation that a petition under the Domestic Violence Act cannot be filed by a woman unless she was living with the respondent on the date the act came into force or thereafter, it would amount to giving a discriminatory treatment to the woman.”
“Any discriminatory action towards women would be violative of their constitutional rights,” the court said while directing the trial court to consider the petition of the woman and dispose it of within 15 days.