Evidence in Domestic Violence Act

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is a beneficiary legislation and is intended to protect the interest of wife. In order to claim any relief under the said Act, must satisfy and prove before this Court that she is an aggrieved woman U/s.2(a) of the said Act and she has been subjected to domestic violence as defined U/s.3 of Domestic violence Act.

The term “Domestic violence” is defined in Section 3 of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 which is reproduced here as under:

Sec.3: “Domestic violence” – For the purpose of this Act, any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in case it –
(a) harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or
(b) harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or any other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security; or
(c) has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or
(d) otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person.

Evidence and Burden of proof

The onus of proof primarily lies on the person who makes the allegations. The onus lies on the person who would fail, if no evidence is led on either side. As the complainant had alleged commission of certain acts of domestic violence upon her by the respondent, the onus lies solely on the complainant to substantiate these allegations by leading cogent evidence in this regard. Once, the complainant discharges the primary onus of proof, it would then shift to the opposite party. The petitioner is entitled for the relief under the Act only if she is able to prove herself as an aggrieved person as per section 2(a) of the act. Mere allegations which are not specific and which are vague in nature cannot be accepted as proof of Domestic Violence.

Example of failure to prove Violence

  1. “The pleadings of the petitioner is clear that she has lead her married life with the respondent only for three months, but the statement of objections of respondents reveal that the petitioner has lived with the respondent only for a few period from the day of marriage, which is a very small period of stay. This fact can be justified that the petitioner has no issue born from the respondent. When such being the case, the infliction of domestic violence made against the respondents gets diluted and same cannot be accepted. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is beneficiary legislation and is intended to protect the interest of wife. In order to claim any relief under the said Act, must satisfy and prove before this Court that she is an aggrieved woman U/sec. 2(a) of the said Act and she has been subjected to domestic violence as defined U/Sec.3 of Domestic violence Act. Hence on perusal of the evidence of P.W.1 it establishes that except the vague allegations made against the respondent, the petitioner has not proved her case of domestic violence against him”.
  2. “The petitioner has prayed for a direction against the respondent to provide an alternative residence as per Sec 19 of the Domestic Violence Act. As discussed above the petitioner has failed to prove the fact of Domestic Violence by the respondent on her. Such being the case, this court cannot grant relief under the Sec 19 of the Act. Apart from the self-serving statements in the petition and her chief examination affidavit, the petitioner has failed to substantiate by producing cogent documents or iota evidence to prove her case. Thus she is not entitled for the relief U/s.19 of PWDV Act”
  3. “The petitioner has sought for monetary relief as this court deems fit. Since, the act of Domestic violence is not specifically proved before the Court, granting of monetary relief would be inappropriate. Hence, the said relief is liable to be declined”