Mumbai Court Rules Husband’s Support for Mother Not Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

A Mumbai court has stated that a husband’s provision of time and financial assistance to his mother does not amount to domestic violence, as it dismissed a plea filed by a 43-year-old woman under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

In his order, additional sessions judge Ashish Ayachit stated, “The grievance that the husband is giving time and money to his mother cannot be considered as domestic violence.”

The woman, an assistant at the ‘Mantralaya’ (state secretariat), had sought action against her husband and his relatives in 2015, alleging that her husband’s frequent financial aid and attention to his mother caused conflicts in their marriage. She also claimed to be unaware of her mother-in-law’s mental health condition before marriage, which further strained family relations.

However, the court dismissed the wife’s claims as “vague” and lacking “confidence of truthfulness.” It emphasized that the husband’s support for his mother and the alleged mistreatment by in-laws did not meet the threshold for domestic violence, ultimately rejecting her appeal.

Additionally, the woman had sought compensation and maintenance for her adult daughter. However, the court noted that since the daughter was now an adult, she was ineligible for maintenance claims on her behalf.

Examining the case details, the court observed that the couple, married in 1993, ended their marriage in 2014 due to cruelty by the woman. Evidence indicated that the husband had struggled during the marriage, even attempting suicide multiple times.

Despite the woman’s claims, the court found her unable to substantiate allegations of domestic violence. It emphasized a lack of evidence supporting her assertions and noted that the divorce was initiated by the husband following alleged cruelties by the woman.

The woman had alleged that her husband, who worked abroad from September 1993 to December 2004, regularly sent Rs 10,000 annually to his mother and also financed her eye operation. However, the husband countered with accusations of financial impropriety, pointing to unauthorized withdrawals from his NRE (non-resident external) account to purchase property.

Throughout the legal proceedings, the woman was granted interim maintenance of Rs 3,000 per month. However, her plea was eventually dismissed by the magistrate court after a thorough review of the evidence.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte