Supreme Court held that Women can also be made respondents in a DV case.
From Paras 12, 13 and 14,
Sandhya Manoj Wankhade Vs Manoj Bhimrao Wankhade and Ors on 31 January 2011
12. From the above definition it would be apparent that although Section 2(q) defines a respondent to mean any adult male person, who is or has been in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved person, the proviso widens the scope of the said definition by including a relative of the husband or male partner within the scope of a complaint, which may be filed by an aggrieved wife or a female living in a relationship in the nature of a marriage.
13. It is true that the expression “female” has not been used in the proviso to Section 2(q) also, but, on the other hand, if the Legislature intended to
exclude females from the ambit of the complaint, which can be filed by an aggrieved wife, females would have been specifically excluded, instead of
it being provided in the proviso that a complaint could also be filed against a relative of the husband or the male partner. No restrictive meaning has been given to the expression “relative”, nor has the said expression been specifically defined in the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, to make it specific to males only.
14. In such circumstances, it is clear that the legislature never intended to exclude female relatives of the husband or male partner from the ambit of a complaint that can be made under the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
Other Source links:
After more than 5 long years, Supreme Court has struck down two words “Adult male” from Sec 2(q) of PWDV Act 2005 here.
The index page is here.