The Kerala High Court on Tuesday held that relief under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 could be sought against domestic violence that took place before the Act came into force.

Justice S.S. Satheesachandran, while dismissing a revision petition against a magistrate court's order, observed that the definition of a “shared household,” as covered by Section 2(s) of the Act, clearly spelt out that it meant a “household where a person aggrieved lives, or at any stage has lived, in a domestic relationship with the respondent.” This indicated that even in respect of domestic violence committed before the Act came into force, relief under the Act could be sought.

The petitioner contended that alleged assault on his wife took place before the Act came into force. Therefore, the magistrate court's order was unsustainable, the husband had contended.

Suggestions

The advocate commissioners appointed by the High Court to study the functioning of plywood manufacturing factories in Perumbavoor, Kothamangalam, and Muvattupuzha have suggested that prime importance be accorded to the welfare of migrant workers in these factories.

In a report submitted to the court, the commissioners, S. Subash Chand and Pinkku Thaliyath, said the waste generated by these factories should be scientifically treated. They recommended employment of staff with technical knowledge in the factories and suggested that periodic monitoring of the noise level at these factories by the Kerala Pollution Control Board was essential. The percolation of contaminated water, arising out of mixing of saw dust and rainwater, into nearby waterbodies should be prevented.

The commissioners were appointed when a writ petition filed by the residents of Vengola in Perumbavoor, seeking to prevent the pollution being caused by a plywood factory, and another one filed by the plywood factory owners, seeking no-objection certificates from the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, came up for hearing.

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