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.
The petitioners filed a petition on 16.12.2008 before the Judicial Magistrate of First Class against the respondents (her husband and in-laws), under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 to grant certain reliefs as mentioned therein, which was taken on file as D.V.C. NO.163 of 2008. The petitioners also filed the complaint under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and the same was taken on file as D.V.C. No.10 of 2009.
Criminal Petition No.346 of 2009 is filed to quash all further proceedings in D.V.C. No.163 of 2008 on the file of the Principal Judicial Magistrate of First Class, Mancherial, whereas, Criminal Petition No.7978 of 2009 is filed to quash the proceedings in D.V.C. No.10 of 2009 on the file of the I Additional Munsif Magistrate, Tenali, Guntur district.
Whether the Quash petition is liable to be dismissed? Whether the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is retrospective in operation?
It was held that the intention of the legislation is to provide certain remedies to the victims of domestic violence and also to prevent occurrence of domestic violence in the society.
Therefore, the acts of violence occurred prior to 25.10.2006 would come within the meaning of ‘domestic violence’ as defined under the Act. For the foregoing reasons, the Hon’ble Court is of the opinion that the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is retrospective in operation. It was thus held that there are no grounds to quash the impugned proceedings and both the Criminal Petitions are liable to be dismissed. The Criminal Petitions are, accordingly, dismissed.
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.