May 14, 2018
In a recent order passed by Three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court, the Court has ruled that the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (Domestic Violence, 2005) is retrospectively applicable. The Apex Court in the case was hearing challenge against Rajasthan High Court’s order passed in 2013 whereby the High Court had ruled that the remedy under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 covers the act of violence committed even prior to coming into force of the Act.
In the case the legal question involved was “Whether the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 can be applied retrospectively especially where the aggrieved party (wife) was divorced by the respondent (husband) prior to the Act coming into force on October 26, 2006 or not?”
The High Court in the case also held that it is not necessary that the applicant-woman should have a marriage or relationship in the nature of marriage existing and subsisting with the respondent as on the date of coming into force of the Act or at the time of filing of the application under Section 12 of the Act before the Magistrate for one or more reliefs as provided for under the Act.
Thus, the aggrieved person, who had been in domestic relationship with the respondent at any point of time even prior to coming into force of the Act and was subjected to domestic violence, is entitled to invoke the remedial measures provided for under the Act.
The Supreme Court’s order can be accessed here.
Rajasthan High Court’s order can be accessed here.