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Sou. Sandhya Manoj Wankhade vs. Manoj Bhimrao Wankhade and Ors.

Sandhya Manoj Wankhade moved in with Manoj Bhimrao Wankhade and his mother and sister following their marriage in 2005. About a year later, she began experiencing abuses from the three of them, for which she filed complaints under several articles of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDVA).

There were back-and-forth applications and petitions for appeals from both sides, and a central question arose: is it lawful for a woman to lodge complaints against female relatives of her husband under the PWDVA? The language of the law was unclear.

The high court ruled in favor of the husband’s female relatives, thus blocking them from certain charges outlined in the PWDVA. The issue went to the Supreme Court, who ruled in Sandhya Manoj Wankhade’s favor saying that it is in fact permissible to hold female relatives as respondents under the act.

Full Citation: Sou. Sandhya Manoj Wankhade vs. Manoj Bhimrao Wankhade and Ors., (2011)3SCC650