Balancing Scales of Justice: Supreme Court Debates Compensation Criteria in Domestic Violence Cases

The Supreme Court has ignited a crucial discourse on the parameters for determining compensation in cases of domestic violence. Central to the debate is the question: should the compensation awarded be commensurate with the severity of the victim’s suffering or the financial status of the perpetrator?

Justices Probe Compensation Criteria

Justices Hrishikesh Roy and Prashant Kumar Mishra are at the helm of this deliberation, actively seeking the wife’s perspective in a case propelled by the husband’s plea. At the crux of the matter is the husband’s discontent with the lower court’s decision to impose a substantial ₹3 crore compensation. His contention revolves around the argument that compensation should be a reflection of the harm endured by the victim, encompassing mental anguish and emotional trauma, rather than solely considering his economic standing.

Legal Conundrum Unveiled

The husband’s legal counsel has shed light on a perplexing aspect of the law concerning monetary relief for maintenance under Section 20 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (DV Act). While acknowledging the relevance of the standard of living, the counsel has raised doubts about the justification behind pegging the compensation at ₹3 crores, solely based on the husband’s income from 2008-2009.

Supreme Court Intervention

In response to these complexities, the Supreme Court has stepped in, temporarily halting execution proceedings against the husband. However, this reprieve comes with a condition – the husband must deposit ₹1.5 crore with the court while upholding his responsibility to continue maintenance payments to his wife.

Legal Representation

Senior Advocate Madhavi Divan, along with Advocates Vikram Deshmukh, Shubham Kulshreshtha, Satya Rath, and Manju Jetley, has been at the forefront of advocating for the appellant-husband in this enthralling legal battle.

This case not only delves into the intricacies of compensation in domestic violence cases but also underscores the dynamic interplay between legal precedent, societal norms, and individual rights. As the Supreme Court continues its examination, it strives to strike a delicate balance between justice and equity in navigating the complexities of domestic violence cases.

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About the Author: Payal Singh