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Anonymous complaint in Domestic Violence Act

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Question: Can I file an anonymous complaint in the Domestic Violence Act because my sister’s husband does not allow her to leave the home? My sister has been living under the strict surveillance of her husband. She is facing severe domestic violence and mental torture from her husband. I want to come forward to save my sister. But I also fear that when my jija ji will harass me. When came to know that I have filed the complaint then he will torture my parents. Therefore, I want to file an anonymous complaint. Please guide me.

Question from: West Bengal

You cannot file an anonymous complaint under the Domestic Violence Act (DV Act) because the victim is an individual person. Court cannot take an effective action on your complaint because who will produce the evidence and assist the court to grant any relief. 

Take the assistance of protection officer instead of filing anonymous complaint in DV Act

you can take the assistance of a Protection Officer for filing a complaint. According to Section 2(n) of the DV Act the State Government shall appoint a protection officer. According to section 12 of the DV Act the protection officer can file a complaint on behalf of the aggrieved person. 

When you file an anonymous complaint to the Magistrate or police, they will send it to the protection officer to take further action under the Domestic Violence Act. Hence, you should directly approach the protection officer.  

The Protection Officers shall as far as possible be women and shall possess such qualifications and experience as may be prescribed.

Section 8(2) DV Act

Thus you should inform the protection officer of the district, where your sister is living, about the incident of domestic violence. She will visit your sister’s house and prepare a report. After preparing the report she shall submit it to the Judicial Magistrate for taking cognisance. 

The Magistrate shall take cognisance and pass a suitable relief. The court will decide which relief can effectively protect your sister from the domestic violence of her husband. Court can pass a protection order under Section 18 and prevent her husband from committing any act of domestic violence. If the facts and circumstances of the case justify the court can direct your sister’s husband to provide her an alternate accommodation. So don’t file an anonymous complaint in the DV Act if the government has established a proper mechanism for it.

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