Compensation order under DV Act, 2005
Thursday February 15 2007 11:16 IST
KOCHI: Besides a 'protection order' and a 'residence order', a woman who suffers domestic violence of any nature, can obtain monetary relief, a custody order, and a compensation order from a Judicial Magistrate, under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
What is monetary relief?
The Magistrate can direct the respondent to pay monetary relief to the aggrieved woman, by way of compensation the expenses incurred and losses suffered by her. It is meant to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered by her and any child of hers, as a result of domestic violence.
Monetary relief can be ordered at any stage during the hearing of an application seeking any relief under the Act. Monetary relief includes (a) the loss of earnings due to domestic violence (b) the medical expenses (c) the loss caused due to the destruction, damage or removal of any property from her control and (d) maintenance for her and her children, if any.
The maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act can be in addition to the usual maintenance obtained by women, children and parents under Section 125 of the CrPC or other laws applicable to them. The monetary relief granted under the Act shall be adequate, fair and reasonable and consistent with the standard of living to which the woman is accustomed.
The Magistrate has the power to order a lump sum payment or monthly payments of maintenance, depending up on the nature and circumstances of the case.
The Magistrate should send a copy of the order for monetary relief to both parties, and to the officer in charge of the police station within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the respondent resides. Once the copy is received, the respondent should pay the monetary relief granted, within the period specified in the order.
If the respondent fails to make payment, the Magistrate can direct his employer, or even a debtor, to directly pay to the aggrieved woman. The magistrate can also direct them to deposit with the court a portion of the wages or salaries or debt due to the respondent, or accrued to his credit.
What is a compensation order?
In addition to the monetary relief, the Magistrate is empowered to pass an order directing the respondent to pay compensation and damages for the injuries, including mental torture and emotional distress, caused by the acts of domestic violence committed by the respondent.
For getting such a compensation the aggrieved woman should make an application.
What is a custody order?
The Magistrate can, at any stage of hearing of the application for protection order or for any other relief under the Act, grant temporary custody of any child or children to the aggrieved woman or the person making an application on her behalf.
The Magistrate may specify the arrangements for the visit of the child or children by the respondent.
But if the Magistrate is of the opinion that the respondent's visit may be harmful to the interests of the child/children, he should refuse such visits. n How long will an order last?
A protection order will be in force till the aggrieved person applies for discharge. But other orders can be altered or revoked at the instance of either of the parties. But, the Magistrate must be satisfied that there is a change in the circumstances requiring alteration or revocation of any order. If so satisfied, he can pass such orders after recording in writing the reasons for the same. n Should the aggrieved woman pay for the copies of the order passed by the Magistrate?
No. In all cases where the Magistrate has passed an order under the Act, he is bound to direct that a copy of such order be given free of cost to both the parties. Besides the parties, the police officer in-charge of the police station under the jurisdiction of which the Magistrate has been approached, and any service provider located within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the court, and the service provider who has registered a domestic incident report, should be given free copies.
Has she got a right to counselling?
Yes. The Magistrate can direct the respondent or the aggrieved person, either singly or jointly, to undergo counselling. Usually a member of a service provider, who possesses qualifications and experience in counselling, will be asked to do the counseling. Besides counselling, the Magistrate can secure the services of experts for assisting him in discharging his functions. The Act provides that such person should preferably be a woman, including a person engaged in promoting family welfare.