Refusal to let wife stay in same house is domestic violence: SC

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:39 pm IST

Published - November 28, 2013 04:09 am IST - New Delhi

A husband’s refusal to allow his wife to share the household and stay with him will amount to ‘domestic violence’ under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWD), the Supreme Court has held. The court ordered payment of Rs. 5 lakh to a woman, who was thrown out of the house by the husband for not giving him more dowry. He did not allow her entry even after a trial court passed an order.

“Section 3 of the PWD relates to economic abuse, which includes prohibition or restriction on continued access to resources or facilities, which the aggrieved person is entitled to use or enjoy by virtue of the domestic relationship, including access to the shared household,” a bench of Justices S.J. Mukhopadhaya and V. Gopala Gowda said.

Writing the judgment, Justice Mukhopadhaya pointed out respondent Babu did not allow appellant wife Saraswathy to reside in the same matrimonial home after marriage, even after the order passed by the subordinate judge. “We hold that there is a continuance of domestic violence committed by the husband against the wife,” he said.

The bench said the trial court, having considered the provisions of the PWD Act and the fact that the wife was prevented by the husband from entering the matrimonial home even after the order was passed by the subordinate judge, had directed the husband not to disturb the possessions of the wife and pay her a monthly maintenance of Rs. 2,000 to meet medical, food and other expenses.

The Madras High Court, on appeal, upheld the maintenance order, but refused to award damages.

The present appeal by the wife against the High Court order was for compensation and damages for domestic violence.

Allowing the wife’s appeal, the Bench said, “The appellant wife, having been harassed since 2000, is entitled to protection orders and residence orders under the PWD Act, along with the maintenance as allowed by the trial court. Apart from these reliefs, she is also entitled to compensation and damages for injuries caused by acts of domestic violence. We are of the view that the appellant wife should be compensated by the respondent husband to the extent of Rs.5,00,000, which should be paid within six months.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.