Mumbai woman gets divorce from abusive, alcoholic spouse
Bandra Family Court accepts plea on grounds of physical and mental torture but rejects wife's demand that the husband pay back over Rs 4 lakh that he took from her to gamble and drink
A woman, who was repeatedly harassed by her husband for money to feed his love affair with alcohol for over a decade, has been granted divorce by the Bandra Family Court. The woman had claimed that her school dropout husband had extracted over Rs 3 lakh from her over the years. However, as she was unable to prove the quantum of the amount in court, her plea to have him reimburse the amount was rejected.
Veena Gaikar, 31 who hails from Worli, married Andheribased Sanjay ( 31) on May 27, 2002. The couple has two children.
Veena has a degree in commerce, but at the time of their marriage, Sanjay held a good job in a financial security firm. In her complaint Veena had said that despite the job, he never contributed towards household expenses, instead splurging it on alcohol and gambling.
According to Veena’s petition, he regularly forced her to part with her hard- earned money, and would burn her with cigarette butts if she ever refused. Things got worse after Sanjay took a loan of Rs 42,000 from his employer to arrange the marriage of his sister but couldn’t repay the amount. He began harassing Veena to arrange for the money from her parents, which she ultimately did, after being burnt repeatedly with cigarettes — she alleged in her complaint.
On December 9, 2010, Sanjay apparently turned up at her office and abused her, accusing her of having an affair with a co- worker. Veena sought treatment for her burn injuries at KEM hospital. In her petition, Veena demanded that Sanjay repay the Rs 3,56,000 he has forced her to part with from her salary, along with the dowry amount of Rs 52,000 and R 2 lakh as compensation.
However, the court concluded she had not proved details of the transactions and rejected her pleas for reimbursement.
On his part, Sanjay alleged that Veena would talk on the phone with other men at night, and alleged that she was having an affair at her workplace.
During the trial though, Sanjay’s lawyers didn’t crossexamine Veena.
Judge Subhash Kafre granted divorce to the couple and observed, “ It is safe to hold that the respondent has treated the petitioner with cruelty, mentally and physically. In such circumstances, it is not possible for the petitioner to lead marital life with the respondent.” The custody of the children, currently with Sanjay, now remains to be decided under separate proceedings.
(Names of the litigants have been changed to protect identities)