Husband to pay Rs. 3 crore compensation to his estranged wife, who called her ‘second hand’: Bombay High Court upholds order in a Domestic Violence case.

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In a recent judgment on a domestic violence case, the Bombay High Court upheld the decision of the trial court directing the husband to pay Rs. 3 crore compensation and Rs. 1.5 lakh monthly maintenance to his estranged wife. In this domestic violence case, the husband called his wife ‘second hand’ over her previous broken engagement. Justice Sharmila U. Deshmukh heard the husband’s revision application against the order of the trial court and rejected the same observing, “Although the abuse will necessarily result in mental torture and emotional distress for the aggrieved person, the gravity will differ from person to person. 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 greater felt by Respondent No. 1 as it would affect her self-worth.” 

The dispute, in this case, revolves around the domestic violence allegations filed by the respondent-wife. Moreover, the wife also claimed maintenance and compensation. The applicant-husband (USA citizen) challenged the order of the lower courts which ruled in favor of the wife (USA citizen currently residing in Mumbai). In 2017, the husband initiated divorce proceedings in the US against his wife and after that, the wife lodged a domestic violence case against him in Mumbai. The US court granted the divorce petition. The wife filed an application under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act alleging that her husband abused her physically and emotionally. In her application, she alleged that her husband and in-laws withheld her stridhan unlawfully. 

After hearing the matter, the HC observed, “The domestic violence also includes an aspect of economic abuse, which also takes within its fold the deprivation of stridhan of aggrieved person. Considering that it has come on record that the stridhan of respondent no. 1 is in bank locker as well as respondent no. 1 has been deprived of the use of shared household and no provision was made for the maintenance of respondent no. 1 till adjudication of application, the acts of domestic violence continued from 1994 to 2017. The trial court has come to a finding based on the discussion that there were continuous acts of domestic violence from 1994 to 2017, which cannot be faulted.” At last, Justice Deshmukh upheld the decisions of the lower courts, Magistrate court, and sessions court stating “I don’t find any reason in exercise of revisional jurisdiction of this court, to interfere with the impugned judgment and order.” Further, the single-judge bench of the HC dismissed the revision application.