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Applicability of Domestic Violence Act 2005 religion-neutral, does not exclude Muslim women, rules Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, are aimed at protecting the rights of women effectively and do not exclude Muslim women from its purview, the Bombay High Court has ruled.

"The enactment of the Domestic Violence Act in no way intends to restrict its application to any particular category of women, but it intends to protect any aggrieved woman who is a victim of domestic violence," Justice Bharati Dangre said.

Bombay High Court

File image of Bombay High Court. CNN News18

The high court was hearing a petition filed by a city-based Muslim man challenging a family court's order directing him to pay maintenance to his wife and children under the Domestic Violence Act.

The petitioner claimed that they are from the Alvi Bohra community and hence both the parties are governed by Muslim Personal Law and their personal relationship is governed by the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939 and the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act.

The high court, however, in its order, passed earlier this month, refused to accept this contention.

"The definition and connotation of 'domestic violence' under the enactment does not indicate any intention, either expressed or implied, to exclude Muslim women," the judge said.

The high court observed that the scheme of the enactment does not restrict the applicability of the provisions of the Act to a particular category of women, nevertheless to a woman belonging to a particular religion.

It dismissed the man's petition and said the parties being governed by the Muslim Personal Law is not an impediment to the wife invoking the jurisdiction of the court under the Domestic Violence Act.

Updated Date: May 15, 2018 11:40 AM

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