With divorce pending from abusive husband, woman 'marries' brother-in-law

The woman, Rita, got ‘married’ to her brother-in-law while her divorce case from her first husband remains pending in the Bandra Family Court. In June, she bore the brother-in-law a son, whose birth certificate states the father is her new ‘husband’.

Rita’s first husband, Jai Anand, a tailor at an outlet in Matunga, is represented by advocates Mohan Pillai and Madhavi Pillai. Sanjay, Jai’s stepbrother, is a businessman in Dharavi. “On Friday, acting on a private complaint lodged by us in May, the court issued summons to Sanjay,” Mohan said.

Wedlock gridlock
According to Rita’s pending divorce petition, she and Jai were married on February 13, 2005 at Chunabhatti. They had a son, Pratap, on June 12, 2007. Prior to the wedding, the couple had also purchased a house for themselves at Kandivli.

According to the private complaint, Sanjay has been living with Rita in an ‘adulterous relationship’ for the past two years. A sonography receipt, which Jai acquired from Sion hospital on April 16, established Rita was pregnant.

“I say that [Rita] is my wife and she has been living away from me for over 30 months and she and I have had no physical relationship during the last 30 months,” the complaint reads.

As per a birth certificate from a Bhayandar nursing home (a copy of which is in MiD DAY’s possession), Rita is identified as Sanjay’s wife, and she delivered a baby boy at 7.20 am on June 22.

Cruel intentions
Rita has filed for divorce on grounds of cruelty by Jai, and asked for their son’s custody. Pratap is currently with Jai. Rita has alleged that Jai would demand money from her and would mentally and physically abuse her, due to which she once approached an NGO and later the police for help.

During her pregnancy, he allegedly taunted her for being unable to do housework. To celebrate seven months of the pregnancy, the couple threw a party to which Rita’s mother was not invited. When Rita confronted Jai about this, he allegedly thrashed her. On several occasions, she alleges, her husband accused her of having an affair with Sanjay.

Nita Bhatia, who represents Rita said, “The court proceedings are still on, so I would not like to comment on the case.” – (Names of litigants changed to protect identities) 

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