The notable flaw in this law is that it lends itself to such easy misuse that women will find it hard to resist the temptation to teach a lesson to their male relatives and will file frivolous and false cases.

Loha vs The District Educational Officer

Madras HC, Madurai Bench

08/06/2015

W.P.(MD).No.8646 of 2015

About/from the judgment:

Now-a-days, filing cases under the Domestic Violence Act by female members has become a common one and a neutral and unprejudiced law is needed to protect the genuine victims of domestic violence, irrespective of gender. It is no doubt true that the perpetrators of domestic violence need to be appropriately punished and dealt with, but at the same time, protection cannot be withheld from real victims for any reason whatsoever, least of all their gender. One can be certain that there is something sinister about a law, when it intimidates and instills fear in innocent people. When a person, who has not committed any crime, begins to fear punishment under the provisions of a law, it will certainly create panic amidst male genders. The notable flaw in this law is that it lends itself to such easy misuse that women will find it hard to resist the temptation to “teach a lesson” to their male relatives and will file frivolous and false cases. A similar trend is already being observed in the case of anti-dowry law (498-A), which is being misused to such an extent that the Supreme Court has termed it “Legal Terrorism”.

 

Though this Court is not examining in this case as to whether there is any violation of the provisions of Domestic Violence Act and other matrimonial offences, a bare reading of the affidavit shows that the above said provisions were used by the petitioner as a tool to wreak vengeance against her husband and in-laws and since her father-in-law is a Government servant, it has become so easier for her to target him more so as to easily throw him out of the job, by lodging a complaint in order to pressurize him to come to a settlement in one way or the other. Therefore, it cannot be said that there is no misuse of the Act.

 

In this case, it is to be seen that the petitioner is the daughter-inlaw of the said Alagirisamy and she does not have locus standi to ask for documents pertaining to her father-in-law from the department. As such, she is also not entitled to seek a direction to the employer of her father-inlaw to consider her representation dated 22.01.2015 for stoppage of his further promotion, as the direction being sought by the petitioner is in no way helpful to the petitioner to resolve and amicably settle the issue so as to live with her husband, if she is really interested in reunion. The conduct of the petitioner may have the reversal effect in the matrimonial front in case she decides to reunite with her husband in future.

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