Laws related to Domestic Violence in India

Domestic violence is defined as a violent control exercised by one person over another. It is also defined as the use of various sorts of abuse to establish power and terror in a relationship. Torture can take many forms, including psychological, sexual, economic, and physical. This is not only a social issue but also a significant human rights violation that puts the victim’s health and social well-being in danger.

  • Offences

Domestic abuse can have a variety of causes, which is why India has a variety of laws in place to address it. In India, there are three laws that deal specifically with domestic violence:

  • The Indian Penal Code’s section 498A
  • The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 was enacted to prohibit the practise of dowry.
  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005 was enacted to protect women from domestic violence.
  • Definition and section
  • Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code[1]

Section 498 A defines cruelty as “any wilful conduct likely to drive a woman to commit suicide or cause grave injury or danger to her life, limb, or health”; or “harassment of a woman with the intent of coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of her failure to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of her failure to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security.

  • The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961[2]

The Dowry Prohibition Act’s provisions are primarily concerned with dowry and related offences in general. Dowry refers to the transfer of parental property when their daughter marries. It is a system in which the groom’s family receives a specified amount of financial help in the form of money, property, gold, and so on.

  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005[3]

“Any act, omission, commission, or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence if it: harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb, or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person, or tends to do so, and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse,” according to section 3 of the act.

Any behaviour stated in clauses (a) or (b) has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person linked to her; or otherwise injures or causes injury, whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person.”

  • Punishment with sections

Punishment for Domestic violence is decided under the provisions given under The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

  • Case briefs
  • Azimuddin Abdul Aziz v. State of Uttar Pradesh[4]

The spouse stated in the case of Azimuddin Abdul Aziz v. State of Uttar Pradesh that the Act only protects women when they are transferred to a separate residence and that it is no longer applicable. The High Court in Allahabad dismissed this argument, ruling that the Protection Order continues in effect as long as the defendants continued to abuse the woman after she had left her home.

  • Bharata Matha & Ors v. R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors,[5]

In this case it was decided that a child born from a live connection would be given the right to property (property owned by parents but not ancestors). In other words, in a real partnership, a woman and her kid cannot be threatened by economic exploitation. While property and Hindu marriage law are obviously more important, it is encouraging that children who have created bonds that are not tied to marriage have property rights as well.


[1] Section 498A, The Indian Penal Code, 1860

[2] The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

[3] The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

[4] Azimuddin Abdul Aziz v. State of Uttar Pradesh 2008

[5] Bharata Matha & Ors v. R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors, 7108 of 2003

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