Bombay High Court Upholds ₹3 Crore Compensation & Monthly Maintenance Under Domestic Violence Act

Bombay High Court Upholds ₹3 Crore Compensation & Monthly Maintenance Under Domestic Violence Act

Woman alleged husband called her “second hand” during honeymoon in 1994 as her earlier engagement was called off

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, March 27, 2024, 12:34 AM IST
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Bombay High Court | File pic

The Bombay High Court recently upheld the compensation of Rs3 crore and monthly maintenance of Rs1.5 lakh awarded to a woman under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DV Act) observing that act of domestic violence affected the self-worth of the wife.

The HC was hearing a plea filed by the husband through advocates Vikramaditya Deshmukh and Sapana Rachure challenging the order of the sessions court. The sessions court too had dismissed his appeal while upholding the trial court’s order granting compensation and maintenance to the woman.

Justice Sharmila Deshnukh appointed advocate Ashutosh Kulkarni as amicus curiae (friend of court) to assist in the case.

The two got married in January 1994 in Mumbai and when they moved to the US they also performed a marriage ceremony there. The duo returned to India in 2005 and started residing in Mumbai in a house co-owned by them. There were disputes following which, in 2008 the wife moved to her mother’s house, and in 2014, the husband moved back to the US.

The husband initiated divorce proceedings before a US court in 2017 and the woman filed a complaint under the DV Act in Mumbai. In 2018, the US court allowed the application seeking divorce.

The woman alleged in her application that during their honeymoon in Nepal in 1994, the husband called her “second-hand” as her earlier engagement was called off. She also alleged that when they were in the US, the husband accused her of having illicit relations with her brothers. She also alleged physical and mental abuse. The police administration in the US had arrested the husband but later released him on bail.

She even alleged that when they moved to Mumbai, the husband again accused her of having illicit relations with a milkman and vegetable vendor. She also alleged that on one occasion, the husband tried to suffocate her with a pillow.

On January 6, 2023, the trial court had directed the husband to provide alternate accommodation to the woman and pay monthly rent of Rs75,000. The trial court also awarded Rs3 crore as compensation and Rs1.5 lakh as monthly maintenance.

The husband challenged the order of the trial court before the Sessions Court, which rejected his plea on July 14, 2023. He approached the HC against this.

The HC upheld the compensation and maintenance noted that act of domestic violence affected the self-worth of the wife.

“In the present case admittedly both the parties are well educated and highly placed in their workplace and in social life. That being the social standing, the acts of domestic violence would be greatly felt by the Respondent No 1 (woman) as it would affect her self worth. This is not to be interpreted to mean that the aggrieved person from other walks of life will not be impacted by the domestic violence suffered by them. The cumulative effect in facts of each case will also have to be taken into consideration,” Justice Deshmukh said on March 22.

Traumatic experiences

- Verbal abuse: Labeling his wife as “second-hand” during their honeymoon

- Attempted murder: Husband's alarming attempt to suffocate his wife with a pillow

- Physical and mental abuse: Wife enduring both physical and psychological mistreatment

- Baseless accusations: Unfounded claims by the husband, accusing his wife of infidelity

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