In this well-reasoned judgment from Hon’ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh, it was held that in addition to the approach courts should take while considering whether the main Act as well as its amendment are prospective or retrospective in effect.
From para 22,
Mohit Yadam Vs State of A.P. on 13 November, 2009
If a statute does not provide an offender liable to any penalty (conviction or sentence) in favour of the state, it can be said that legislation will be classified as remedial statute. Remedial statutes are known as welfare, beneficent or social justice oriented legislations. A remedial statute receives a liberal construction. In case of remedial statutes, doubt is resolved in favour of the class of persons for whose benefit the statute is enacted. Whenever a legislation prescribes a duty or penalty for breach of it, it must be understood that the duty is prescribed in the interest of the community or some part of it and the penalties prescribed as a sanction for its purpose. None of the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 has direct penal consequences.