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DV Act: HC moved to frame court manual

Pointing out that contrary to the stipulation of 60 days in disposing cases under Domestic Violence Act (DV Act), 2005, several pleas are kept pending for months in a stretch, the Madras High Court has been moved seeking to frame a court practice manual for judicial officers and legal practitioners to implement the DV Act in letter and spirit.

DV Act: HC moved to frame court manual
Madras High Court


A division bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha before whom the plea came up on Monday directed the Social Welfare Department to file a status report on the issues raised and posted the case for further hearing to January 3.

Citing an incident which transpired last year wherein a woman who was pushed by her husband from the first floor of her house is yet to get justice, the counsel submitted that the protection officer, who was meant to enable the woman get justice had instead resorted to a roving enquiry. He also took an undertaking from the husband that he would not cause violence on the family members instead of presenting the case to the court.

Also, noting that the mandatory conduct of a preliminary enquiry and the actions of the Protection officer in issuing notice to the respondents (accused) prior to submission of Domestic Incident Reports (DIR) is violative of the role envisaged for the Protection Officer, the plea held that such an activity by the protection officer was beyond the Act. It also noted that such a move had curtailed the woman from obtaining an interim relief, which may be urgent.

The plea also submitted that the action of Judicial Magistrates in not taking on file complaints of domestic violence directly from the aggrieved person and hearing them is violative of the mandate under Section 12 of the DV Act.

Moreover, the inordinate delay in the process of obtaining justice from the magistrate coupled with the inability of the Protection Officer’s, who are only one to a district and two in the district of Chennai to prepare the DIR is an abject failure of the State.

The State cannot sit back and fail in its legal and constitutional obligation to give effect to the provisions of the DV Act and fail to appoint Protection Officers at Taluk and Village levels, the plea added.

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