Women and Justice: Court: High Court of India

Domestic Case Law

Sudesh Jhaku v. K.C.J. High Court of India (1998)

Gender-based violence in general

The Court held that extreme caution must be taken during the questioning of child witnesses: questions must not be long, complex, or confusing, breaks may be taken during the questioning if necessary, a screen may be used to block the child's view of the courtroom, and "a social worker or other friendly but ‘neutral' adult" may be present or even allowed to sit next to the child. Moreover, such questioning must be in camera.



Varsha Kapoor v. Union of India High Court of India (2010)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

A woman filed charges of domestic abuse against her husband and mother-in-law. The mother-in-law argued that she could not be charged under India's 2005 Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act because the person to be charged is specifically defined as male. The High Court denied this claim, holding that although the law defines adult men as the primary defendants, it allows the complaint to charge a man's relatives as secondary defendants.



P. Babu Venkatesh v. Rani High Court of India (2008)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Gender-based violence in general

After a marital dispute arose, the husband transferred ownership of the marital home to his mother in order to evade the 2005 Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act which does not permit women to be forcibly dispossessed of their homes. The Court held that the subterfuge was insufficient to evade the law and ordered that the wife be allowed to live in the home until the dispute could be resolved. Here, the Supreme Court held that the shared household only includes homes which are owned or rented by the couple.



Amit Sundra v. Sheetal Khanna High Court of India (2007)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Gender violence in conflict

In a case of domestic violence, under the 2005 Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, the Delhi High Court upheld the Magistrate Court's injunctive order to allow the wife and some of her family to remain in the marital home until the case was fully prosecuted.



Aruna Parmod Shah v. Union of India High Court of India (2008)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Gender-based violence in general

A man charged with domestic violence against his female live-in domestic partner challenged the law's use by an unmarried domestic partner. The court held that domestic violence by a man against a woman in any marriage-like relationship, or even relationships outside marriage, is subject to the law. This decision is notable given that many marriages in India are unofficial or not legally valid.



Ashok Kumar v. Birakishore High Court of India (2004)

Gender discrimination, Harmful traditional practices

A father alleged that his son-in-law had kidnapped his daughter.  The daughter showed that she was of age and had married of her own free will.  The court held that a family can have no control over who an adult chooses to marry.