Ex-Mantralaya staffer’s plea to avoid maintenance in domestic violence case dismissed

A sessions court has dismissed the appeal of a retired Mantralaya employee against a lower court’s order directing maintenance payment of to his wife and her minor son - his step-son, in a Domestic Violence case.

The court in its order said the wife’s son is a minor and suffers from intellectual disability and comes under the purview of the Domestic Violence Act as an aggrieved person being the wife’s son.

Additional Sessions Judge Abhijeet Nandgaonkar further referred to the man’s bank transactions is in lakhs and said that he is financially sound and received retirement benefits and pension, after retirement from the government job at Mantralaya. Therefore, his claim that he is a retired person and not in a sound position is turned down by the facts on record. The court also said that there is nothing brought on record that the man paid even a single penny to his wife to show his bonafide while dismissing his appeal.

A case of sexual assault had been registered against the man and his adopted son in early 2017 and thereafter, his wife claimed that he had been harassing her and her son mentally and physically to withdraw the case. The duo are undergoing psychological treatment due to the same, her advocate told the court while opposing the appeal. He also produced bank documents to show that the man had made transactions in lakhs from his account and that he was getting a pension of Rs. 32,000 since his retirement in 2016 from a job in the Mantralaya. He also informed the court that the man had not paid a single penny to his client since the order of the lower court in September 2017 and was trying to prolong paying the maintenance through this appeal. He had made the woman leave her job as a condition before marrying her and thus is liable to pay maintenance, he told the court.

The Esplanade magistrate court had ordered him to pay an interim maintenance of Rs. 11,000 to his wife and Rs. 6,000 to her minor son from the date her plea was made in late-2017. He had approached the sessions court in December 2019 against the interim order and sought a stay on it.

His advocate had argued that her son from her first husband is a major and he is not legally bound to financially support the son. He also said that while she got divorced from the son’s biological father, she had not sought maintenance for her son from him and was trying to illegally extract it from him. Further, he had said that the man is a retired person and has no source of income.

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Free Press Journal