Frequently Asked Questions about Domestic Violence Act, 2005
Team SoOLEGAL 11 Apr 2023

Frequently Asked Questions about Domestic Violence Act, 2005


Domestic violence is a crime that is committed by a member of the victim's family like Family members, relatives, and so forth. Different strategies are used in the twenty-first century to address the social problem of domestic violence. In addition, the media, legislators, and awareness organizations have helped people acknowledge domestic violence as a social ill.

In India, Domestic Violence is governed by the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (“the Act”). Section 3 of the Act defines domestic violence as any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent (who could be the husband or an adult male partner, or any family member), which harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person.

Domestic violence can take many different forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological and emotional abuse, financial abuse, and even stalking. It can also include the deprivation of the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, medical facilities, etc. Furthermore, the act also clarifies that any act or conduct that amounts to domestic violence in any other law for the time being in force shall also be considered as domestic violence under the Act.


1.      Who is the aggrieved person under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005?

The term "aggrieved person" under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 refers to any woman who alleges that she has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom she has/had a domestic relationship.

A woman who is or has been in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been the victim of domestic violence by the respondent is referred to as an aggrieved person under S.2(a) of the Act.

2.      Who is the Respondent under the Act?

A respondent under the act is defined under Section-2(q) and it refers to any adult male person who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved person and against whom the aggrieved person has sought any relief under the Act.

*In Hiral P. Harsora v. Kusum Narottamdas Harsora, (2016) 10 SCC 165, it was noted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that the remedies available under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 are also available against a female and a non-adult member of the domestic relationship.


3.      Is Marriage a necessary mandate to seek remedy under Domestic Violence Act, 2005?

No, Marriage is not an essential ingredient to seek remedy under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 as per the proviso of Section 2(q) which says a female living in a relationship in the nature of marriage may also file a complaint against the male partner or his relative.


4.      What are the remedies available under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005?

The following are the remedies available to an aggrieved person under the Act:

a.       Protection orders: An aggrieved person can seek a protection order from the court, which prohibits the accused person from committing any act of domestic violence.

b.      Residence orders: The court may also pass a residence order, which entitles the aggrieved person to reside in the shared household, regardless of whether she has any title or rights in the household. The court can also direct the accused person to provide alternative accommodation to such aggrieved person.

c.       Monetary reliefs: The victim of domestic violence may seek financial compensation for losses incurred as a result of the abuse, such as medical costs, lost earnings, property damage, etc.

d.      Custody Orders: The aggrieved person may apply for custody of the children under the Act if she bears children with the respondent.

e.       Interim Orders:  Before the case is finally disposed, the court may issue interim orders to safeguard the victim.


5.      Who can file a complaint under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005?

Under this Act, an aggrieved person or a protection officer or any other person on behalf of the aggrieved person can file an application to the Magistrate Court.

6.      Where is the complaint filed under Domestic Violence Act, 2005?

The complaint is made under Section-12 of the Act to the Magistrate Court of the concerned area seeking the appropriate reliefs as mentioned in the Act.

7.      What are the circumstances under which an aggrieved person can file a complaint under Domestic Violence Act, 2005?

If the aggrieved person is suffering from physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and/or emotional abuse or economic abuse from the offender, the aggrieved can approach the magistrate court under Section-12 of Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

8.      Is there any difference between Section-498A of IPC and provisions of Domestic Violence Act, 2005?

Yes, there are certain differences between both the provisions. Differences are laid out in the below-mentioned table:

Section 498A of Indian Penal Code

Domestic Violence Act, 2005

Specifically deals with the aspect of Cruelty towards a married lady and her relatives.

This Act covers a broad range of abuse than can be inflicted within a domestic environment/relationship.

Offence under this provision has to be committed by either the husband or his relatives

Offence under this provision can be committed by any adult male member in a domestic relationship.

The nature of proceedings is criminal.

The nature of proceedings is Quasi-criminal.

Only a married woman can file a case under this section

Any aggrieved individual in a domestic relationship can file the complaint under the Act. (As per Hiral P. Harsora v. Kusum Narottamdas Harsora, (Supra))


The Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is a more comprehensive law that offers a wider range of remedies and applies to a broader category of domestic relationships, while Section 498A IPC is a specific criminal offence that deals with cruelty against married women by their husbands and relatives.

9.      Who is a protection officer under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005?

The State Government appoints protection officers to assist magistrates in carrying out their statutory obligations in accordance with the Act. Depending on the size and need, the number of protection officers may vary from district to district. The Act confirms the authority and responsibilities that the Protection Officers must exercise. The Protection Officers must, to the greatest extent practicable, be female and must have the training and experience required by the Act.

10.  In how much time does an application under Section-12 shall be disposed off?

In accordance with Section-12(5), every magistrate shall endeavor to dispose the application made under Clause (1) within a period of 60 days which are to be calculated from the date of first hearing.

11.   Are proceedings under this Act conducted on camera?

Not all proceedings are required to be conducted on camera. Under Section 16 if the magistrate thinks it fit to do so, he/she shall and either party also desires the same, then the proceedings may be conducted in that manner.


12.  What happens if the opposite party does not appear?

In case the opposite party does appear and the magistrate is of the opinion that Domestic Violence has taken place, then the magistrate under Section-23 can pass ex-parte orders i.e. passing orders by hearing only one party.

13.  Can you appeal the decision of the Magistrate under this Act?

Yes, under Section-29, an appeal can be preferred to the court of sessions against the order of the magistrate, within 30 days from the day on which the order is served on the aggrieved person or the respondent.


We have tried to address as many questions as possible; however, if you have any further questions, please contact us at +91 9810929455 or via email at


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