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Administration of Gender Justice through Family Courts Act, 1984 and PWDVA

Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.-himamanda Ngozi Adichie

Introduction and Meaning
  • Gender justice is a human right; every woman and girl is entitled to live in dignity and in freedom, without any fear. Gender Justice is indispensable for development, poverty reduction, and is crucial to achieving human progress.
  • Gender justice is a tool that helps us in achieving equality and equity in the distribution of resources.
  • Gendered lifestyles need not be ruled out, but should not be achievable at lower costs than a gender neutral lifestyle. This principle is grounded in the values at the core of liberal egalitarian justice: equality of access and the good of individual choice.[1]
  • Earlier, women were not given any importance, they were even denied the basic human rights and fundamental rights. One of the major reasons for such conduct was predominant male society and the patriarchy followed in the society.
  • Women were harassed, at work places and were even tortured by their husbands even at home.
  • The revolution of asking up for their rights arose in the late 19th Century, and hence after that the changes started taking place.

Legislative Changes
  • With the emerging awareness amongst the women regarding their rights, there were several changes in the legislations made even in India.
  • The amendments in the IPC, CrPC and IEA can be seen in this regarding. The adding of the Sec498A and Sec304B in the IPC, Sec198A in CrPC and Sec113A and Sec113B of the IEA.[2]
  • But there was still the need for protecting the women, against the violence they faced in their houses.
  • The other main problem was regarding, when the couple wanted a divorce, it was always the women who suffered, as the cases in the civil courts are such in abundance that the family issues are not dealt seriously.[3]
  • Moreover, justice delayed is justice denied, and hence we will talk about two institutional setups for gender justice.
  • The evolving feminist jurisprudence, in this matter can be evolvedthrough Family Courts and PWDVA.[4]
     
  1. Family Courts Act, 1984
    • This act was enacted with the objective of speedy disposal of the family related disputes and efficient disposal of cases with a person specialised in such field.[5
    • This need was led down by the court in the case of Smt. Durga Deshkmukh and in affect to that the Fmaily Courts Act, 1984 was enacted.[6]
    • The laws regarding the women are the most important to lead and flourish any country.
    • Even, the Constitution of India provides Art.14, Art.15 and Art.21 regarding the upliftment of women and the provisions thereof.
    • There was also an opposition faced, where it was alleged that the Family Courts Act is violative of Art.14 as it discriminates on the basis of population, and that is not intelligible differentia. The court held that there is intelligible differentia between the objective of the act and hence it is not violative of the fundamental rights.[7]
    • My opinion with respect to this act is that, the objective is just and apt. but the main limitation over here is regarding the reporting of the cases by the common man.
    • This has its own limitation of not reporting it, and thus the justice cannot be done.
       
  2. PWDVA
    • The main objective of this act was to protect women against all types of abuses that would be included in the domestic violence.[8]
    • The court had laid down in case of VD Bhanot V. Savita Bhanot regarding the need of such a legislation.[9]
    • There have been many aspects included in the cover of domestic violence.
    • All women are covered under this act including girls, wives, mothers, daughters and sisters and hence this is an umbrella legislation[10]
    • The main limitation of the act is the implementation. The majority of the women do not report the case and hence it does not meet the objective.

Conclusion
  • The legislations have been laid down for the protection of rights of women and also for the justice.
  • But firstly, majority of the women do not apt to that just for the reason that there is no awareness regarding their rights and also that such legislations would protect them.
  • Also, the women who are aware of the rights and legislations, do not apt for such litigations as due to personal reasons.
  • Hence, only if the women understand and stay aware of the rights, the objective of such legislations can be achieved.
  • There are also abuse of such legislations and some women use it as tool for abstracting money from her husband and in laws.

End-Notes:
  1. Anca Gheaus, Gender Justice, 6(1) Jesp 1, 1-24 (2017).
  2. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MH6zGCurH_tsV4ixDb4RRSJubW9M6CCY/view
  3. https://www.gov.uk/manage-child-maintenance-case
  4. Biswajit Ghosh & Tanima Choudhuri, Legal Protection Against Domestic Violence in India: Scope and Limitations, Springer, (29 March 2011).
  5. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kIVEO0K21WsUtljtzr-TM9vBxRz8hp5S/view
  6. Lata V. Union of India, AIR1993Bom255.
  7. Lata Pimple v. Union of India (AIR 1993 Bom 255).
  8. Jayna Kothari, Criminal Law on Domestic Violence: Promises and Limits, 2005.
  9. VD Bhanot V. Savita Bhanot, (2012)3 SCC 183.
  10. Sou.Sandhaya Wankhade v. Manoj Bheemrao Wankhade& Ors (2011)3SCC 650.

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