Domestic violence caused by sister-in-law

Question asked on: 29/01/2017

My sister-in-law is very greedy and tortured me because she did not get proper respect from my parents. However, I used to ignore but currently, she has attempted one and more occasions to assault me. She is influential and my husband is not ready to listen to a single word against her. Being victimize of such violence I have decided to take appropriate legal action against her. Can I file a case against her under the domestic violence act? 

Advised by: Shivendra Pratap Singh,

You should file a complaint under section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act 2005. A victim of domestic violence receives proper protection under this Act. Domestic violence is a vicious or horrible form of violence because it commits within the four walls of the family house.

It is evident from your question that your sister-in-law has been committing domestic violence. According to section 2(q) & 3 of the DV Act, you can file a complaint against any relative of the husband [Sandhya Manoj Wankhede vs Manoj Bhimrao Wankhede (2011) 3 SCC]. Hence, file a complaint under section 12 of the DV Act against your sister-in-law.

Filing a Complaint

Section 12 of the DV Act provides a procedure for filing a complaint against the respondent. The word respondent is significant regarding the complaint. You can make your husband or his any relatives as the respondent who have committed violence against you.

According to that section, you can file a complaint either personally or through a protection officer. The complaint will be presented in the court of Judicial Magistrate of the first class.

If you do not want to file the complaint personally, then you can take the assistance of the protection officer. For availing his help, you should contact the Secretary of the legal service authority (LSA) or in-charge of Mahila Thana. The government has established an LSA in each district civil court.


Your sister-in-law did not commit physical or bodily injury. She humiliated and threatened you on several occasions. The DV Act regards the insult, humiliation, ridicule, name-calling, repeated threats etc. as verbal and emotional abuse.

Those abuses do not inflict any visible mark on the body, hence, not necessary to produce documentary proof of verbal and emotional abuses.


The DV Act provides several relives to the person aggrieved of domestic violence. Particularly in your case, you can seek a protection order under section 18 of the DV Act. Through this order, the court shall prohibit the respondent from committing, aiding or attempting to commit any domestic violence.

In addition to it, you can also seek a residence order (section 19) for restraining the respondent from entering any portion of the shared household.

If you think that your husband can retaliate, then you can also seek residence order against him. The court may restrain him from dispossessing you from the marital home.

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Shivendra Pratap Singh

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