Mumbai Court on Domestic Violence Allegations – Husband’s Support

In a recent judgment, the Sessions Court at Borivali dismissed an appeal filed by a 43-year-old woman seeking relief under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDV Act). The court ruled that a husband providing time and financial support to his mother cannot be considered as domestic violence against the wife.

The Additional Sessions Judge, Ashish Ayachit, highlighted that the woman’s grievance centered around her husband giving time and money to his mother, which, according to the court, doesn’t qualify as domestic violence. The judge noted that the woman had withdrawn funds from her husband’s NRE account to purchase a flat in her name during the period when he was working abroad (1996-2004).

Furthermore, the judgment shed light on the woman’s professional background, identifying her as an ‘Assistant’ working in Mantralaya. It was revealed that she had purchased a flat using money drawn from her husband’s salary. Importantly, the woman initiated the domestic violence case only after her husband had initiated divorce proceedings. The judge took note of the man’s attempted suicides and the divorce granted on grounds of cruelty by the wife.

The case originated in 2008 when the woman filed a complaint under Section 12 of the PWDV Act, accusing her husband and in-laws of mental and physical cruelty. She sought protection, residence, monetary relief, and compensation for herself and her daughter. Allegations included the concealment of her mother-in-law’s mental illness, frequent visits by the husband to his mother, financial support, and payment for her eye operation.

The trial court had previously dismissed her plea in 2015, prompting the woman to approach the Sessions Court in 2016. Additional Sessions Judge Ashish Ayachit concluded that the proceedings were initiated after the husband issued a notice for demanding divorce.

The judgment delved into the timeline of the couple’s marriage, highlighting that they lived together only from May 1992 to May 1993. The judge characterized the applicant’s allegations as vague and lacking credibility. The court ultimately deemed the applicant’s evidence as unbelievable and untrustworthy, stating that she failed to prove domestic violence.

Crucially, the judge recognized that the daughter was now a major and could seek remedies independently. Additionally, the court considered the grounds on which the husband was granted divorce from the family court, noting multiple suicide attempts and the dissolution of their marriage under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act on grounds of cruelty by the wife.

This judgment sheds light on the complexities involved in domestic violence cases and emphasizes the importance of thorough examination and evidence in legal proceedings. It underscores the significance of considering the context and motivations behind initiating such cases, especially in the context of divorce proceedings. The ruling provides insights into the legal intricacies surrounding accusations of domestic violence within the framework of family law.

 

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