Compelling a married woman to live in her parental home amounts to cruelty

Compelling a married woman to live in her parental home amounts to cruelty

Amar Singh Vs Vimla

Madhya Pradesh HC

22/06/2021

CRR No. 2376/2020

About/from the judgment:

The High Court has recently observed that compelling a married woman to live in her parental home after marriage amounts to cruelty and that for this reason, it cannot be said that she was living seperately without reasonable reason.

The development came from a single judge bench dealing with a criminal revision petition challenging the Family Court's order directing the husband to pay Rs.7,000/- per month to wife under sec. 125 CrPC.

An application for maintenance was filed by the respondent wife on the ground that she was harrassed and beaten by her husband and in laws for the demand of dowry after which she was ousted from her matrimonial house and started residing in her parental home seven months prior to the filing of the said application.

It was also the wife's case that in the meantime, neither the husband nor the in laws made any efforts to bring her back.

On the other hand, it was the case of the husband that the wife had resided in her matrimonial house for a period of four days and that she never allowed him to consummate the marriage and had allegedly questioned his potency.

Further submitting that they were acquitted for the offence under sec. 498A IPC, it was submitted by the husband that he was disrespected when he had gone to the parental home of his wife for taking her back.

The Family Court had reasoned that it cannot be said that the wife was residing separately without any reasonable reason and had also found that the she was unable to maintain herself as she wasn't doing any work.

Challenging the said order, it was submitted by the husband that Rs. 7000 maintenance amount per month was on a higher side as he was a student working part time in a shop.

Considering the facts of the case, the High Court observed thus:

"Under these circumstances, this Court of the considered opinion that after having levelled serious allegations against her and her parents and having failed to prove the same, it cannot be said that the respondent is residing separately without any reasonable reason."

Furthermore, it said:

"Thus, it is also clear that the applicant (husband) has deserted the respondent (wife) and he cannot take advantage of his own wrong. Further, compelling a married women to live in her parental home, is also a cruelty. Accordingly, it is held that it cannot be said that the respondent is residing separately without any reasonable reason."

Affirming the order passed by the Family Court, the Court ordered thus:

"It appears that by order dated 06/02/2019, Court had below awarded an amount of Rs.3,000/- by way of interim maintenance. Accordingly, it is directed that the amount paid by the applicant by way of interim maintenance is liable to be adjust in the arrears of maintenance amount."

The petition was accordingly dismissed.

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