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Domestic Violence Act 2005 | Complete Analysis

The Domestic Violence Act of 2005, also known as the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, is an Indian legislation enacted to provide legal protection and remedies to victims of domestic violence.

The act recognizes the need to address the pervasive issue of domestic violence and aims to safeguard the rights and well-being of women in domestic relationships.

Domestic Violence Act

The Domestic Violence Act 2005 in India has played a significant role in addressing domestic violence and providing legal recourse to victims. It recognizes the importance of gender equality and the need to protect individuals from all forms of abuse within domestic relationships.

By outlining clear provisions and remedies, the act aims to create a safer and more supportive environment for survivors and contributes to the overall efforts of eradicating domestic violence from society.

Key provisions of the Domestic Violence Act 2005

Definition of Domestic Violence Act 2005

The act defines domestic violence broadly to include physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and economic abuse. It also covers harassment, threats, and any other form of harm or injury that may jeopardize a woman’s health, safety, or well-being.

Protection Orders:

The act allows victims to seek different types of protection orders, such as protection orders, residence orders, monetary relief orders, and custody orders, from the court. These orders are intended to prevent further abuse and provide temporary or permanent remedies.

Right to Residence:

The act recognizes a woman’s right to reside in her shared household, regardless of her ownership or entitlement to the property. The act prohibits the eviction of women from their marital or shared homes.

Access to Shelter Homes and Medical Facilities:

The act ensures that victims have access to safe shelter homes and medical facilities. It also provides for the availability of counseling and support services to help survivors recover from the trauma of domestic violence.

Appointment of Protection Officers:

The act allows for the appointment of Protection Officers who are responsible for assisting victims in filing complaints, accessing legal aid, and ensuring the implementation of protection orders.

Punishment for Offenders:

The act imposes penalties and punishments on offenders who violate protection orders or commit acts of domestic violence. It aims to create a deterrent effect and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.

It is important to note that the Domestic Violence Act primarily focuses on protecting women from domestic violence, but it recognizes that men can also be victims and provides for their protection under the law.

The act encourages the reporting of incidents of domestic violence and seeks to create a safer and more supportive environment for survivors.

Confidentiality of Proceedings:

The act emphasizes the need for maintaining the confidentiality of proceedings related to domestic violence. It ensures that the victim’s identity and other sensitive information are protected during court hearings and legal processes.

Police Duties:

The act places certain responsibilities on the police to promptly respond to domestic violence complaints. They are required to assist the victim in obtaining medical aid, provide information on legal rights, and ensure the enforcement of protection orders.

Legal Aid and Support:

The act recognizes the importance of legal aid and support for victims. It allows victims to seek assistance from a Protection Officer or any other service provider to help them navigate the legal process and access justice.

Awareness and Training:

The act emphasizes the need for public awareness campaigns and training programs to educate society about domestic violence. It encourages the government and NGOs to organize workshops, seminars, and training sessions to sensitize individuals and institutions about the issue.


The act provides for a wide jurisdiction, enabling victims to file complaints and seek protection orders from a court located in the area where they reside or have sought refuge.

Non-obstante Clause:

The act contains a non-obstante clause, which means that its provisions prevail over any conflicting provisions of any other law in force. This ensures that the protection and remedies provided under the Domestic Violence Act take precedence in cases of domestic violence.

The Domestic Violence Act 2005 in India has played a significant role in addressing domestic violence and providing legal recourse to victims. It recognizes the importance of gender equality and the need to protect individuals from all forms of abuse within domestic relationships.

 By outlining clear provisions and remedies, the act aims to create a safer and more supportive environment for survivors and contributes to the overall efforts of eradicating domestic violence from society.

Definition of Aggrieved Person:

 The act defines an “aggrieved person” as any woman who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the respondent and has experienced domestic violence.

This broad definition ensures that women in various types of relationships, including marriage, live-in partnerships, or family relationships, are protected under the act.

Responsibilities of Service Providers:

The act acknowledges the crucial role of service providers, such as medical professionals, counselors, and shelter homes, in assisting victims of domestic violence.

It mandates their cooperation with the Protection Officers and requires them to provide necessary aid, information, and support to the victims.

Protection of Rights in a Custody Battle:

 In cases where a child is involved, the act prioritizes the best interests and safety of the child. It ensures that the child’s custody or visitation rights are not granted to a person who has committed acts of domestic violence.

Interim Orders:

To provide immediate relief to victims, the act allows for the issuance of interim protection orders. These orders can provide immediate protection, such as restraining the respondent from contacting or harassing the victim, until the final order is passed.

Duty of the Court:

The act places a duty on the court to dispose of cases related to domestic violence within a specific timeframe. This helps ensure that justice is delivered in a timely manner and minimizes the delay in providing relief to the victims.

Prohibition on Alternative Dispute Resolution:

The act explicitly prohibits the resolution of domestic violence cases through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, such as arbitration or mediation. This is to ensure that the victims’ rights are protected and that cases of domestic violence are dealt with through proper legal channels.

Punishment for False Complaints:

The act also includes provisions to deter false complaints. It stipulates that if a person makes a false complaint or provides false evidence, they can be subjected to legal consequences.

Role of NGOs and Support Organizations:

 The act recognizes the vital role played by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and support organizations in providing assistance to victims of domestic violence. It encourages collaboration between the government and these organizations to ensure comprehensive support and services for survivors.

Awareness Programs in Educational Institutions:

The act emphasizes the importance of creating awareness about domestic violence among students and youth. It encourages educational institutions to incorporate educational programs and awareness campaigns to promote a culture of non-violence and respect.

Protection of Women in Live-in Relationships:

The act extends protection to women in live-in relationships, recognizing them as victims of domestic violence. It ensures that they have access to the same legal remedies and protections as married women.

Prohibition on Dowry Demands:

The act explicitly states that demanding dowry, directly or indirectly, is a form of domestic violence. It aims to address the issue of dowry-related violence and provide legal recourse for victims.

Role of District Magistrate:

The act empowers the District Magistrate to oversee the effective implementation of the act within their jurisdiction. They are responsible for coordinating the activities of Protection Officers, service providers, and other relevant authorities to ensure the protection and welfare of victims.

Amendments and Evolving Jurisprudence:

Over the years, there have been several amendments and evolving jurisprudence related to the Domestic Violence Act. These modifications and judicial interpretations have aimed to strengthen the act’s provisions and enhance the protection and support provided to victims.

The Domestic Violence Act 2005 in India is a crucial legislation that recognizes the rights of women and aims to prevent and address domestic violence. By establishing legal protections, remedies, and support systems, the act seeks to empower survivors, hold perpetrators accountable, and create a society that is free from domestic violence.

Download Free Copy of the Domestic Violence Act 2005

Muslim women too covered under Domestic Violence Act.

It was held by the Bombay High Court that Muslim women are too covered under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 in a case titled as Ali Abbas Daruwala Versus Mrs. Ali Abbas Daruwala Writ petition No. 114 of 2018.

The present petition was filed challenging the order  passed by the family court at Bandra whereby the application of maintenance was allowed and the petitioner  was directed to pay an amount of Rs.25,000/- per month to the petitioner and Rs.20,000/- per month each for both the children towards interim maintenance from the date of the filing of the application including the house rent.

The petitioner aggrieved by the said order and prays for quashing and setting aside the said order on the ground that the Family Court has exceeded its jurisdiction in passing the said order.

The petitioner and the respondent belong to Islamic Alvi Bohra Community and were married on 16.10.1997. Out of the said marriage three children were born and one eldest son expired on 28.10.2014. The other two children are aged 14 and 13 years respectively.

The purpose of any provision of law which is beneficial to a woman is to provide some solace to a woman during the subsistence of the marriage or even after she is divorced out of the said marriage and since the Domestic violence Act 2005 is an enactment to provide effective protection of rights of woman, who are victims of violence, the respondent-wife cannot be denied the umbrella of the said legislation.

The respondent-wife has staked her claim by filing proceedings under the Domestic violence Act 2005 claiming monthly maintenance for herself and her children.

On the said application, the respondent-husband has been directed to produce all or any of the documents which are in existence or his possession and which are not produced by him so as to reflect his earnings.

The Court held that though it is a specific case of the petitioner-husband that he has divorced his wife, it cannot be expressed as a gospel truth specifically in light of the latest pronouncement of the Hon’ble Apex Court in case of Shayara Bano V/s. Union of India & Others as to what would be the effect of such Talaknama.

In any contingency this Court is not concerned with the validity of the said Talaknama at this stage and in this proceedings. This Court will have to restrict itself to the impugned order dated 22.06.2017 passed by the Family Court at Bandra directing the husband to pay monthly amount for maintenance of the wife and the children and also to pay for the rent of the house where the wife is residing.

It was held that the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is an enactment to provide for more effective protection for rights of women guaranteed under the Indian Constitution who are victims of violence.

The enactment no way intends to restrict its application to any particular category of women but it intends to protect the women aggrieved, who are victims of Domestic Violence.

The definition and connotation of “Domestic Violence” under Section -3 of the enactment do not indicate any intention either express or implied to exclude Muslim women. Section -36 of the said enactment provides that the provisions of the Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.


The Domestic Violence Act 2005 in India is a comprehensive legislation that addresses the issue of domestic violence and provides a range of legal protections and remedies to victims. Its provisions aim to empower women, promote gender equality, and create a society free from domestic violence.

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