Family Court drops MVR 25 domestic violence protective order fee

Protesters hold an anti-rape rally in Male' City. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

The Family Court has dropped the MVR 25 administrative fee it takes on protective orders for victims of domestic violence.

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem wrote on his blog on Saturday that the move to drop the processing fee for domestic violence protective order (DVPO) was proposed by the Family Protection Authority during a meeting with stakeholders last year.

The meeting was held by the Prosecutor General’s Office to discuss ways to enhance efforts to provide justice to victims of domestic violence, improve their access to support, and establish a world-class victim support system – which Shameem said was a key objective for his office this year.

Shameem said that at the meeting, all stakeholders agreed that it was important not to impose such a fee, given that the payment must be made online, and domestic violence victims often do not have access to internet or other resources needed to make the payment.

“Because this fee has to be paid via the Bandeyri Portal, it requires internet and other resources. All stakeholders agreed that given the dire circumstances the applicants of domestic violence protective orders are usually in, it was important to drop the MVR 25 fee,” he said.

Shameem said that after he talked to officials from the Family Court, who he said had been unable to attend the meeting due to “an administrative reason”, he was informed that the court’s Council of Judges had already made a decision to drop the fee, but that it had yet to implement it.

The fee was officially dropped last Thursday.

In addition to dropping the fee, the court has also condensed the 14-page form to six pages, making it easier to fill.

Shameem thanked the court’s judges and registrar for the initiative.