Mumbai: Wife can’t be denied entry in a shared home, says Court

Modifying the order of a magistrate in an appeal filed against it by a homemaker in a domestic violence case, a sessions court in Dindoshi ordered her husband to let her reside in their shared household.

The 45-year-old woman had approached the magistrate for a protection order and permission to live in the shared household as well as sought maintenance. She had filed a domestic violence case against him and said that she was driven out of her home and not allowed to reside and look after her two children in their shared household.

The magistrate had directed her husband, a craft teacher at a special school, to pay a monthly maintenance of Rs. 2,000 to her and rent of Rs. 5,000. Based on a FIR registered against her by him and three NC’s where he had alleged that she had assaulted him, the magistrate had opined that it is not just and proper to allow her to reside in the shared house.

She had approached the sessions court in an appeal and sought that she be allowed to live there and that she does not want the maintenance. Additional Sessions Judge SU Baghele said in his order that the ground to prevent her entry was the alleged assault by her. “To my view, that cannot be the reason to prevent the entry of a family member into the house.” The grant of rent was not sufficient to give justice, he said. “If a wife can be paid rent for a separate accommodation, why cannot the husband acquire a separate accommodation for rent for himself if the husband and wife are unable to adjust with each other,” judge Baghele said.

The conclusion by the magistrate based on the FIR and NCs, it said, “cannot withstand the scrutiny of law relating to the legal right of the wife to reside in her shared household.” The court also set aside the order for maintenance and rent by the magistrate on submissions by the wife’s advocate.

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