Giving triple talaq amounts to domestic violence: Bombay HC

Mumbai: In a significant ruling, the Bombay High Court recently held that pronouncing triple talaq and harassing the wife, amounts to domestic violence. The HC also held that granting maintenance to a wife is a measure of ‘social justice.’ A single-judge bench of Justice Prakash Naik pronounced the ruling in response to a plea filed by Noor Khan challenging the orders of a trial court, which directed him to pay an amount of Rs. 6,000 per month as a compensation.

Khan was already married thrice before marrying Hasina Bano in November 2010. The couple, however, parted ways in May 2012, after Khan orally pronounced triple talaq and got a ‘fatwa’ issued by a Qazi to this effect. Pursuant to the talaq, Bano petitioned the trial court invoking the provisions of Domestic Violence Act and sought monthly compensation from Khan. She argued that before marrying her, Khan did not inform her of his three marriages.  On the other hand, Khan, a government servant, challenged the compensation amount claiming that he is already paying maintenance to his first wife.

Having considered the contentions, Justice Naik said, “It is contended that Bano has suppressed the fact that Khan had pronounced three times oral talaq – the Islamic Permissible Divorce, against her and thereby the marital ties between the couple came to an end. It is revealed from the submissions that the Bano was assaulted and abused by Khan, however, she remained silent to keep peace in the matrimonial relations.”

“Prima facie the act of Khan, who had pronounced Talaq after causing harassment to Bano, amounts to domestic violence. The contention of Bano that Khan suppressed the fact of his three marriages itself amounts to mental cruelty to any women. I do not find any reason to deviate from the findings given by the trial court,” Justice Naik ruled.

While dismissing the plea filed by Khan the bench referred to several judgements passed by the Supreme Court. And accordingly, said that when a woman leaves her matrimonial home, the situation is quite different. “She is deprived of many comforts and some time her faith in life reduces. There may be a feeling that her fearless courage has brought her the misfortune. At this stage, the only comfort that the law can impose is that the husband is bound to give monetary comfort. That is the only soothing legal balm, as she cannot be allowed to resign to destiny. Therefore, the lawful imposition for grant of maintenance has been perceived as a measure of social justice,” Justice Naik observed.

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