The Supreme Court has agreed to consider a request for legal assistance for women who are subjected to domestic violence. The petition also requests that shelter houses be established where such women can remain after filing a complaint against their husbands and in-laws.
The Supreme Court has served notice on the Centre, requesting a response by December 6 on a petition brought by an NGO called "We the Women." However, a bench led by Justice UU Lalit has rejected down a request to send notice to all states.
The NGO had petitioned the Supreme Court to close massive infrastructure gaps in the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act across the country, in order to provide effective legal aid to women who have been abused in matrimonial homes and to establish shelter homes for them after filing complaints against husbands and in-laws.
Domestic abuse is the most widespread crime against women in India, according to the organization's PIL, despite the DV Act's passage more than 15 years ago. "According to the National Crime Records Bureau's (NCRB) report for the year 2019, domestic violence incidents accounted for almost 30% of the 4.05 lakh registered cases classed as 'crimes against women.'"
This worrying statistic, according to the NGO, is merely the "tip of the iceberg" since Indian women are afraid of losing their family's image and the resulting social shame, as well as a lack of information on the provisions of law and the remedies given thereunder.