Md.Jalaluddin, Advocate, High Court of Manipur, Imphal.

Causes of Domestic Violence – Higher rates of illiteracy and unemployment also contribute to increase domestic violence. Though statistical data reflects that women in urban areas are as much vulnerable to the threat of domestic violence as those in rural area, nevertheless, it can’t be denied that higher educated women are more apt to be economically self sufficient and less reluctant to end an unsatisfactory marriage by seeking legal remedies.

Economic inequality between men and women is also a contributory factor to domestic violence. In many societies, majority of women are economically inactive and are dependent upon their husbands for financial support.

In a country like India a women is idealised with the notion of passivity of dependence and submissiveness. These notions are often re-enforced by mass media and religious teachings. As a result, not many gather strength to go against the Nation. The discrimination in the form of exclusion restriction or distinction made on the basis of sex which prevents or negates the exercise of human rights and freedoms in the political, economic social, cultural, civil or any other field.

Beijing Platform of Action 1995 – The United Nations convened the fourth World conference on Women in 1995 in Beijing, China. The conference was participated by 189 Governments and more than 5000 members from 2,100 nongovernmental organisations. The principal themes were the advancement and empowerment of women in relation to women’s human rights, women and property women and decision making, the girl child violence against women and other areas of concern. The resulting documents of conference are “The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action”.

International Day Against Violence to Women – After effective lobbeying the United Nations, on 8th March 1999, ‘International Women’s day’, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 25th November  as International day for the elimination of violence against women. The campaign for recognition of the International day Against Violence to Women in an archetypal of feminist practice which gains its vitality from and grounds its core practice in the small and the local with information and activities moving up and down the complex irregular and frequently informal networks from region to the international sphere with the result that an ever widening range of new locals has been generated.

Domestic Violence in India – Traditional India had seen a women only as a member of family or group - as daughter, wife and mother – not as an individual with an identity or rights of her own – Though the Constitution of India assures for all dignity, equality, freedom but these have been systematically denied to women, Family systems, Subordination cultural, religious and socio economic reasons are inter-alia giving scope for violence against women.

To live without the threat a risk of matrimonial cruelty must be reckoned as a Constitutional right guaranteed under Art.21 of the Constitution.

Cruelty -  As per section 498A of Indian Penal Code cruelty by husband or his relatives to a women is an offence punishable under section 498A Indian Penal Code - cruelty in criminal law is different from cruelty in Civil Law – Cruelty of four types :

Accused husband and in-laws had assaulted deceased, set on fire after poring kerosene. It was proved by evidence of neighbours and villagers that deceased was humiliated and harassed at the instance of accused. Father of the deceased explained how his daughter was harassed and humiliated by the accused. In many cases eye witnesses proved the occurrence how the accused had committed the crime. Dying declaration was found reliable conviction of life imprisonment was found reliable. In India such bride burning is frequently happened inspite of best effort to prevent such crime. In Manipur also killing of young brides happened very frequently for piety reasons or other without considering a little sympathy of the young married wives. After killing by other means, young wives are placed by hanging to a considerable right in order to escape their liability from the crime. But due to clean investigation real facts of the case has been pointed out.

Real thing is to be noted that women is also human being and they have the enough right to survive with due respect from the side of the male, instead of killing them after committing rape or torture inhumanly.

Approach of Court of Law in matrimonial disputes – matrimonial matters must be considered by the Courts with human angle and sensitively. Delicate issues affecting conjugal relations have to be handled carefully and legal provisions should be construed and interpreted without being obvious or unmindful for human weakness.

In a case reported in (2011) 3 SCC 650 Sandhya Manoj Wankhude -vs.- Manoj Vim Rao Wankhade and others our Hon’ble Supreme Court held that as per provisions of Section 2(q) of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 aggrieved wife as defined under Section 2(a) of the Act may file a complaint against the relatives of the husband or the male partner  as the legislature has not intentionally excluded aggrieved wife, females from filing complaint and thus appeal filed by the appellant succeeds and set aside the order passed by the Ld.Sessions Judge and Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court.

If there is a difference of opinion in the survival of the two, matter should be referred to elders of both parties for amicable settlement or good will for separation or divorce. Men by nature due to change of circumstances based on economic conditions or due for poverty or any other reason difference by opinion has come out between them and as a result serious crime has been committed by their respective husband forgetting the women is his wife. Looking into the matter, legal awareness to all places is highly necessary in order to safe from such serious crimes.