Tamil Nadu

Madras HC orders man to vacate house after wife complained of violent behaviour in front of children

Photo for representational purpose.

Photo for representational purpose. | Photo Credit: Satheesh Vellinezhi

In a first-of-its-kind order, the Madras High Court has directed a businessman to vacate his house and find an alternative accommodation within two weeks since his estranged wife complained that he manhandles and abuses her in front of her minor children, who were of impressionable age.

Justice R.N. Manjula directed the businessman to leave his house within a fortnight, failing which he would be evicted with police assistance. She granted liberty to his estranged wife to approach the Family Court for necessary orders if he does not leave within the stipulated time.

The judge concurred with the woman’s counsel S.P. Arthi that if eviction of the husband from the matrimonial home was the only way to ensure domestic peace, courts should not hesitate to pass such orders irrespective of whether he had or did not have any other accommodation of his own. “If the husband has got an alternative accommodation, it is fine. He can be asked to accommodate himself in that alternative premises. If he does not have any other accommodation, it is up to him to secure an alternative accommodation,” the judge wrote, while modifying an order passed by a Family Court on April 11.

The businessman’s estranged wife, an advocate by profession, had filed a divorce petition before the Family Court in 2019. While it was pending, she moved a sub application in 2021 seeking a direction to her husband to move out of her matrimonial home in the best interest of their children. The Family Court disposed of the sub application with a direction to the husband not to disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the matrimonial home by the estranged wife. Aggrieved over it, the woman preferred the present revision, claiming that he had aggravated his abusive attitude by taking advantage of the Family Court’s refusal to evict him.

Disagreeing with the orders passed by the Family Court, Justice Manjula wrote that once the court had decided to provide protection to the woman, the orders passed by it should be workable and practical. She said that allowing the husband to reside in the same house and directing him not to disturb others was impractical.

“A relief for a person who fears an impending atom bomb would be to remove the bomb from his/her vicinity,” the judge observed, taking note that the marriage between the couple was an utter failure since there was no co-habitation between them for the last five years.

“Protection orders are generally given to ensure peaceful movement of a woman within her domestic sphere. When a woman fears the presence of her husband and screams, the courts cannot be indifferent by just directing the husband that he should not harass the wife, while allowing him to reside in the same house,” she added.

Independence of women

In the present case, the anguish of the wife was that her husband, involved in construction business, was unable to reconcile with her professional demands despite having married knowing well that she was an advocate who had to spend most of her time outside home.

Instead of supporting her and being cooperative, he developed a complaining attitude and found fault with her for being engaged with her work. Empathising with her, the judge lamented that according to the understanding of the businessman, an ideal woman must always stay at home and do only household chores.

She Justice Manjula wrote: “If a woman chooses to be independent and do something more than being a housewife and if it is not taken well by her husband, that makes her life horrible by having its repercussion over her personal, familial and professional spheres.” Giving a piece of advice, she also said: “As a couple, if the parties do not tolerate each other’s career demand and balance both family and career and mingle with each other’s society without any inhibition, constant conflict is an inevitable result.”

She insisted upon the necessity for spouses to understand and respect each other’s professional commitments.

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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 10:43:37 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-directs-businessman-to-vacate-house-after-wife-complained-of-violent-behaviour-in-front-of-children/article65775627.ece