Court orders Modi government to Enforce Domestic Violence Act

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February 25, 2013

AHMEDABAD — With just one temporary protection officer (PO) to handle as many as 875 complaints of domestic violence (DV) in Ahmedabad district, the Gujarat High Court has pulled up the Narendra Modi government and given it eight weeks' time to appoint an adequate number of these officers and staff members.

February 25, 2013

AHMEDABAD — With just one temporary protection officer (PO) to handle as many as 875 complaints of domestic violence (DV) in Ahmedabad district, the Gujarat High Court has pulled up the Narendra Modi government and given it eight weeks' time to appoint an adequate number of these officers and staff members.

Taking suo motu cognizance of the non-implementation of the DV Act in the state after a newspaper exposed a dowry harassment case, the court observed that to have just one PO in a vast district like Ahmedabad for handling hundreds of complaints was nothing but a mockery of the Act. The judge also asked the state administration to assess the needs of each district and appoint adequate number of POs on a permanent basis and pay them as per government scale so as to receive and attend to the women's complaints in time.

In Ahmedabad district, there is only one temporary protection officer and one social defence officer to handle 875 complaints related to domestic violence a year. A 23-year-old woman, who was thrown out of her home by her in-laws for not bringing dowry, was allowed to file a case under the DV Act only after three months due to lack of staff.

The woman, married to a resident of Pali, Rajasthan in 2011, was kicked out by her husband and in-laws. She was told to return to her paternal home in Ahmedabad as she had not brought dowry with her. However, this young woman was in for a rude shock when she went to file a complaint under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Although the Act promises to respond to a complaint within three days and resolve it within a maximum of 60 days, the young wife was told to return after three months to register a Domestic Incidence Report. This was because there is only one protection officer for the entire Ahmedabad district appointed by the state social welfare department to implement the Domestic Violence Act.


Courtesy: Khaleej Times