Unfortunately, domestic violence is a major concerning issue that can occur in a relationship. According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau (INCRB), over 309, 546 crimes against women were committed in 2013. That is to say, the ones that were reported. The legal system in India recognises this factand enacted the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005), under which women in these relationships may allege their husbands haveabused them. This is for those in a heterosexual relationship, however, those that are in a homosexual relationship are currently not supported legallywith cases of same-sex domestic violence. This also includes relationships of Transgender persons that identify as male-to-female that are in a same-sexrelationship.

Earlier this year the Supreme Court was involved in the landmark case of National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India. This was for the right of transgender people to be ruled as a “third gender”, to which the Constitution of India would grant them equal rights to males and females. It was granted, and transgender persons became legally recognised in the country. This also meant that those in same-sex relationships where one identifies as male-to-female is protected under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005).

While this was a landmark decision for those that identify as female, men in same-sex relationships do not have the same protection under said Act. For men, it is still not legally recognised that they are in a same-sex relationship. It is more seen as a male “friend” living with another male “friend”. Due to this, any abuse a man suffers from his male partner, it is witnessed as an assault charge, and not a case of domestic violence. If they did want to prove that it was a domestic violence case, then they must inform those that perform the medical examination on the victim, followed by a police statement. Dependent on the seriousness of the injury, the alleged abuser could be granted bail under Section 232 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) if it is not serious assault. However, criminal prosecution could occur under Section 326 of the IPC if the injury was grievous. If the alleged commits further serious harm, then under Section 307 of the IPC, they may be charged with attempt to commit murder.

Ultimately, the Indian legal system does not recognise male same-sex marriages, and therefore, for those men that are abused by their partner, cannot seek support from the same Act as that which protects females. Those men in same-sex relationships that wish to charge a partner with domestic violence may only do so under a general “assault” claim.