Hubby''s female kin can be booked for domestic violence: SC

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) Female relatives of a husband canalso be booked under the Domestic Violence Act if a complaintis lodged by the wife, the Supreme Court has ruled.

A bench of justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph in ajudgement set aside the concurrent orders of a sessionscourt and the Bombay High Court that female relatives of thehusband cannot be booked under the Act as the legislation wasmeant only against the husband or any other male member.

"No restrictive meaning has been given to the expression"relative" nor has the said expression been specificallydefined in the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, to make itspecific to males only.

"In such circumstances, it is clear that the legislaturenever intended to exclude female relatives of the husband ormale partner from the ambit of a complaint that can be madeunder the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act,2005," Justice Kabir said writing the judgement.

The apex court passed the ruling while upholding anappeal filed by Sandhya Manoj Wankhade, the aggrieved wife,challenging the findings of the lower courts which besidesprecluding female members from being booked for the allegedoffence, also asked her to vacate the matrimonial house inAmravati district in Maharashtra since it was registered inthe name of her mother-in-law Ramabai.

The wife had filed the complaint against husband ManojBhimrao Wankhade, widowed mother-in-law Ramabai anda sister-in-law under the Protection of Women from DomesticViolence Act, 2005.

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