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In a ground-breaking ruling, Supreme Court recently held up a decision by the Rajasthan High Court, which enabled a woman to file a domestic violence complaint even if she is divorced.
Domestic abuse is one of the most hidden forms of violence against women. In our country, it is often treated as a matter between husband and wife that should be resolved internally. Many a times, women suffer this abuse silently, out of shame or owing to the fear of society’s judgemental eyes.
However, law has finally taken a strong stand against this crime, in a recent court case. Supreme court has supported an order given by Rajasthan high court that says – the absence of an ongoing domestic relationship does not stop a court from granting relief to an aggrieved woman.
Hence, a woman can lodge a complaint under the domestic violence law against her husband even after their divorce or separation. This order was passed in a marital dispute matter. The husband appealed to the Supreme Court, but this judgement was withheld by them as well.
The appeal said that if the domestic violence law which came in to force on October 2006, was allowed to be applied retrospectively then it could be misused. Most times, the end of a marriage is hostile and the law could act as a weapon in the wife’s hand to exact revenge.
However, the court refused the appeal and said, “If the aggrieved person had been in a domestic relationship at any point of time even prior to coming into the force of the Act and was subjected to domestic violence, the person is entitled to invoke the remedial measures provided under the Act.”
The high court also said that even after the termination of marriage, if an ex-husband attempts an act of violence such as stalking the wife, trying to intimidate her or threaten her or her family members, then the wife can seek protection from the law. She can also approach the court if the husband tries to wrongfully dispossess her from the shared household or property jointly owned.
This order should act as a flag bearer for all domestic violence cases. Many times, even after a divorce, the wife is being abused by the husband and his family. Earlier, it was assumed that since the marriage was annulled, a woman could not resort to the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act of 2006. But, now with this ruling, if a woman is being harassed by her ex-husband and his family, she can still lodge a complaint.
Domestic violence whether physical, sexual or emotional needs to be treated seriously. Women should come forward to report this crime and put an end to it. After all, tomorrow it could be the next generation to suffer.
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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