‘Implementation of PWDVA Act needs more teeth’
Source : The Hindu
Effective implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA, 2005) has been a matter of concern for women’s organisations in India as they claim to observe glaring gaps in the implementation of PWDVA.
In order to thrash out the problem areas and create a list of recommendations, Centre for Social Research and Oxfam India organised a national consultation in the Capital.
Some of the highlighted problems included lack of awareness about PWDVA among the general public, an insufficient number of protection officers and service providers, absence of coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the Act, a meagre budget allocation, failure on the part of the judiciary and police and paucity of basic services and infrastructure. These loopholes were prominently reflected in the State-wise implementation of the Act.
“Statistics show an alarming decline in the number of cases registered, an improper budget allocation for the implementation of the act, and a 50 percent decrease in the number of protection officers for the implementation of the Act in the country. These are serious problems and need to be addressed on a priority basis,” says Dr. Ranjana Kumari, director, CSR.
Activists noted that even though PWDVA has been enacted by the central government, it is the State’s responsibility to implement the Act.
Unfortunately, all States implement the Act as per their own choice and existing infrastructure.
“Moreover, each State has a different budget allocated to PWDVA. While on one hand Karnataka has been allocated Rs. 800 lakh in 2015-16, on the other hand Delhi had been allocated Rs. 45 lakh for the implementation of this Act in 2013-14. According to the Economic Survey of Ministry of Finance 2014, the enactment of PWDVA remains weak as 19 States have no planned schemes,’’ said Dr. Ranjana Kumari.
Women groups have also noted that no special attention is being paid for awareness generation and sensitization of judicial officers, police and general public.s
“Cases pertaining to domestic violence are often registered under general FIR, and not specifically under the Act. Also, a large number of unrecorded cases are also there. And most importantly there is an inadequacy in terms of Protection Officers and Service Providers appointed,” noted the group.