Bombay High Court asks teacher to pay his wife Rs 7 lakh for domestic violence, torture
The retired teacher claimed that his elderly wife was leading an adulterous life and he could not afford to pay her the monthly maintenance and compensation
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday upheld an order directing a retired drawing teacher to pay Rs 7 lakh in compensation to his wife for subjecting her to torture and domestic violence. Justice Bharati Dangre dismissed the retired teachers claim that his elderly wife was leading an adulterous life and he could not afford to pay her the monthly maintenance and compensation.
Justice Dangre said that the sessions court"s order "did not suffer from illegality or perversity" and was based on the material that was produced before the court as well as "considering provisions of Domestic Violence Act, and the need for protecting the dignity of the woman as conceptualized by law", as reported in Times of India.
The Domestic Violence Act was enacted in the year 2005 to protect women from domestic violence and abuse. A woman who was a victim of domestic violence can approach the court for relief, including monthly maintenance, prohibiting her from being dispossessed of her house and to stop domestic violence. Under section 22, the magistrate, on an application from the woman, can direct payment of "compensation and damages for injuries, including mental torture and emotional distress, caused by acts of domestic violence committed by that respondent".
The elderly couple from Satara got married in 1982 and have two grown-up children. Three years ago in 2015, the woman had approached the magistrate"s court for relief, including maintenance and compensation of Rs 17 lakh. The woman claimed that her husband was suspicious and used to subject her to physical abuse and harassment. The magistrate after hearing the case ordered him to pay a monthly maintenance of Rs 10,000 and compensation of Rs 10 lakh, which was reduced by the sessions court to Rs 7,000 and Rs 7 lakh simultaneously.
The man, who is a retired drawing teacher challenged the orders before the High Court and submitted mobile phone call details to purposely show that his estranged wife was leading an adulterous life. He claimed that he had retired thereby reducing his earning capacity. The HC rejected his claims and pointed out evidence that revealed that upon retirement the former teacher had received lump-sum amounts as gratuity and he had also sold a flat for Rs 7 lakh.
The HC said that the order had considered his earning capacity as well as the fact that the woman had no other source of income. Justice Dangre said the sessions court had taken into consideration "that the wife was entitled to compensation and damages for injuries suffered on account of torture and emotional distress suffered by the aggrieved person on account of the domestic violence inflicted on her."
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