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A file photo of the Supreme Court. Photo: Mint
A file photo of the Supreme Court. Photo: Mint

Supreme Court widens scope of domestic violence Act

Supreme Court orders striking down of the two words 'adult male', paving the way for prosecution of women and non-adults for violence against a woman

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has widened the scope of the Domestic Violence Act by ordering deletion of the words “adult male" from it, paving the way for prosecution of women and even non-adults for subjecting a woman relative to violence and harassment.

The apex court has ordered striking down of the two words from Section 2(q) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, which deals with respondents who can be sued and prosecuted under the Act for harassing a married woman in her matrimonial home.

Referring to earlier verdicts, the apex court said “the microscopic difference between male and female, adult and non-adult, regard being had to the object sought to be achieved by the 2005 Act, is neither real or substantial, nor does it have any rational relation to the object of the legislation".

Section 2(q) of the Act reads: “‘respondent’ means any adult male person who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved person and against whom the aggrieved person has sought any relief under DV Act."

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