The Kerala High Court recently dismissed a plea challenging constitutionality of Section 19(1)(b) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.

The Section under challenge empowers the Magistrate, on being satisfied that domestic violence has taken place, to pass a residence order directing the ‘respondent’ to remove himself from the shared household.

In this case, a 62-year-old mother had approached the magistrate court complaining of domestic violence by her son. The court directed the son to remove himself from the shared household allowing the application filed under Section 19(1)(b) of the DV Act.

The man, who had suffered this order, approached the high court by filing a writ petition challenging its constitutionality, contending that the said provision gives unbridled procedure for determination of claims of aggrieved and that it provides for deprivation of life and property of a citizen by a procedure not in conformity with justice, fairness and reasonableness and that it is unconstitutional being violative of Articles 21 and 300A of the Constitution of India.

Justice Sunil Thomas, who heard the plea, observed that the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act is ‘a self-contained Statute intended to protect the interest of aggrieved women, who are exposed to domestic violence’. The court also observed that the Act is brought in to give effect to the constitutional mandate and also in accordance with international convention adopted by the United Nations and is binding on the member countries.

Dismissing the plea, the court observed: “I am not in agreement with the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that Sec.19(1) (b) of the Act 43 of 2005 confers unbridled and unregulated powers. The provision enables the Court to pass appropriate orders on the basis of the pleadings, materials placed before it and also by the procedure established by law.”