The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Mumbai passed an order of interim relief of Rs 1 lakh as monthly maintenance for the applicant. The applicant had made this application u/s 23 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act for grant of multiple reliefs from her husband. The District Magistrate asked the businessman in South Mumbai to pay Rs 1 lakh as maintenance for his wife and two teenage children, after the wife had alleged that he and his family were involved in domestic violence against the wife.
The husband owns a shop near Churchgate and the couple had tied their knot in 2002. The 38 year old wife and house maker contended that her husband was having some extra marital affair and her in-laws were in support of their son for such an act. They were mentally and physically harassing the applicant. The behavior of husband and relatives had changed towards the wife and children after discovering the illicit relation of her husband with other woman.
The environment at home was getting hostile and the man had left their joint home, but she along with her children is residing in the same house. The applicant hence decided to file for interim maintenance and restraining of domestic violence on her with the aid of Advocate Nilesh Gala.
The applicant has alleged that her in-laws have tried to expel her out of their residence. The wife mentioned in the court that she and her children, aged 17 and 14 are subjected to a life of misery and desolation as the husband is not even helping them with finances. The applicant mentions that family income of the family is above Rs 20 lakh and contended for at least Rs 3 lakh as monthly alimony from her husband. The wife also claims that her in-laws have commercial properties and bungalows and land in Gujarat along with many other financial investments. The family also has membership to some of the most expensive health clubs and around Rs 20 Crore of unaccounted money.
The respondents stated that the application as false and frivolous and not maintainable arguing that they have no such properties and money in the name of husband. The respondents further mentioned that the husband has taken the responsibility of applicant and her both children and yet they are being harassed by the applicant. Further, it is mentioned that applicant should claim for maintenance from her husband only and not from other respondents. The respondent also contended that his father was helping him live separately by paying him the rent of Rs 20,000.
The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, RM Nerlikar further states that prima facie it appears that domestic violence does exist at the hands of respondents but the husband staying separately is still a matter of fact in issue which shall be decided in full-fledged hearing. The Judge did verify that respondents do have a lot of immovable properties, cars, shops etc. Hence, the Judge considered that domestic violence does exist and granted that applicant is in need of maintenance.
The Judge further opined that the husband has not revealed his real income to the Court and it cannot be possible that he is earning only Rs 20,000 per month, as the family is involved in the business of electronics and has multiple joint properties in their names collectively.
Thus, the application was partly allowed and the respondent no. 1 has to pay Rs 50,000 per month to the applicant and Rs 25000 per month each to the children as maintenance from date of application till the disposal of the application, making Rs 1lakh as monthly maintenance. The husband and his family members are restrained from committing any further domestic violence in future.
The article is authored by Rhea Banerjee.