Sunday December 10, 2023

Woman takes husband, in-laws to court over domestic violence

September 30, 2022

A judicial magistrate has allowed a plea of a woman seeking proceedings against her husband and in-laws for allegedly subjecting her to domestic violence.

Judicial Magistrate (South) Waheed Ahmed took cognizance of the complaint moved by the victim, a resident of Bihar Colony, under the relevant sections of the Domestic Violence (Prevention & Protection) Act, 2013.

He ordered the registration of a case against the woman’s husband Ahmed Raza, brother-in-law Abdul Munaf, and mother-in-law Farida Siddique under Section 5(b), (f), (g), (j) and (o) read with Section 6 of the act and directed them to furnish a surety of Rs10,000 each. In case of failure to pay the surety, the magistrate warned, they would be taken into custody and remanded to jail.

The victim, through her lawyer Bahzad Akbar, stated that she had been residing with her husband and in-laws in a shared house since she got married six years back. However, soon after the marriage, she found out that her father-in-law was mentally unstable and wandered around the house naked, the woman complained, adding he would also walk into her room and try to hug her, forcing her to lock herself in a bathroom.

On complaining about his conduct, she said, her husband as well as in-laws not only used abusive language but also inflicted “severe violence” on her. Fearing for her and her minor daughter’s safety, the complainant said, she left the house of her husband and began residing again with her parents. She said her husband divorced her after she approached the court against them.

The counsel for the accused denied the allegations levelled against his clients. He said the woman left the house of her husband without any plausible reason and filed a suit for conjugal rights. The magistrate said the complainant was divorced after she filed the plea, and a witness, Tahira, supported her statement.

After the filing of the instant complaint, the respondent, Ahmed Raza, divorced her, and that “reflects conduct of respondents towards her”. “Therefore, in view of above facts and reasons, I hereby take cognizance of the offence under Section 5(b), (f), (g), (j) & (o) read with Section 6 of the Domestic Violence (Prevention & Protection) Act, 2013,” he ruled.

Explaining Section 5 of the act, advocate Bahzad Akbar said it provides for punishment of all acts of gender- based and physical or psychological abuse perpetrated by a respondent against women, children or any other vulnerable person with whom the respondent has been in a domestic relationship. He said Sub-section ‘f’ criminalises “emotional, psychological and verbal abuse”, which means a pattern of degrading or humiliating conduct towards the victim, including ridicule, jealousy, invasion of the victim’s privacy, liberty and security, threats to cause physical pain, threats of divorce, blaming a spouse of immorality, and so on. He said sub-sections ‘g’ and ‘j’ deal with harassment and physical abuse, respectively.