In a significant observation, Kerala High Court noted that a woman, living in a live-in relationship, can also file a domestic violence case and can seek relief under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
The bench stated that a woman who has been the victim of domestic violence at the hands of a man with whom she has been living in a domestic relationship can file a case under Domestic Violence Act.
Domestic Violence Act defines a domestic relationship as a relationship between two persons who live or have, at any point of time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family, the bench stated.
The High Court bench noted, “From the above definitions, it is possible for a woman alone to seek relief under the DV Act. Further, a female living in a relationship in the nature of a marriage is also eligible to seek relief under the DV Act.”
The bench was hearing an appeal filed by a man seeking the transfer of the case against him under the Domestic Violence Act to a Family Court which is pending before the Magistrate.