Married life can be a living dream and sometimes the same can also turn into a nightmare. If women face abuse in marriage, they have been armed with several laws in their favour to take recourse. However, if tables are reversed when a husband is at the receiving end of harassment and abuse from his spouse, most often his misery only gets difficult at home and at times professionally as well.
Men’s Day Out covers one such story, where a man has been allegedly terminated from his services, by a top consulting firm, on mere complaint by his wife.
His Story (as narrated by Husband)
We were studying together at college and after courtship, we tied the knot around a decade ago. Things were fine between the two of us, however, caste factor always remained an issue since my wife belonged to an upper caste, while I did not. This remained a point of contention with her parents for the longest time.
My wife and I are highly educated individuals and have been independent all through. After around 2-years into marriage, we were blessed with a son. However, the interference from my in-laws was only increasing by the day – to the extent of my mother-in-law almost dictating to her daughter how our home should be run.
Things came to a point where I could not even decide where I could buy my own home and where and how I should live. My in-laws would instruct me openly that they wanted their daughter to live with them and that I should also follow her. There were frequent fights on this issue and when I got a good career opportunity abroad, my in-laws influenced my wife not to join me.
I would travel to and fro very often to meet my wife and son, however, this long distance relationship was certainly not normal or healthy. Finally in the year 2018, I decided to relocate back to India to be with my family. I left my job abroad, where my promotion was due, and joined one of the top consulting firms in the city where my family resided.
After I returned, we were expecting our second child.
Planned Unilateral Separation
My wife would often talk of separation due to constant pressure from her parents. Earlier in 2016, she had also penned an email to me how we should separate. I could not understand the behaviour of my wife, however, in hindsight, I believe many things were pre-planned. In 2018, on one Sunday, my father-in-law visited our home, had lunch with me, my wife, son, my parents and left in the evening as any other weekend would have been planned. Everything seemed absolutely normal with no signs of drift from anyone.
A week later, on a working day, I left for office in the morning and called my wife as usual to inform her that I had reached. She just told me, she would speak later as she too was getting ready to rush for work.
Since I was only 4-months old at work, I got busy through the day and could not call her until evening. When I was returning home, I received an sms at 1900hrs on my phone from her stating that all was over between us and that she was leaving for good.
I panicked and called my parents, however, they too did not find anything unusual in her behaviour that morning when she left for work. Ma told me she had packed tiffin for my wife as she would do daily, before she left. I immediately dialed the landline of my in-laws, however, there was no response. When I called my father-in-law on his mobile, he abruptly told me that he was filling petrol in the car and had no clue about all this. Later, he just briefly messaged that his daughter had reached his place. (I only learnt later that my father-in-law never returned after visiting our home, and was very much in the city to take back his daughter along with him after a week).
Son Taken Away Forcefully
After my wife abandoned me and my son unilaterally, I discussed with my Baba (father) if we should consult a lawyer. My father did not want to go to court and make a public tamasha out of all this. So we waited for time to pass.
However, within a week, my father-in-law turned up at our place with some local politicians (I would call them goons), who started questioning and accusing my family of ill-treating my wife. My neighbours intervened when my father-in-law (after abusing me and my baba) started abusing my Ma as well.
They came with police who allowed them to forcefully take away my son. My father-in-law threatened me in front of everyone that he will ensure how I would never see my child again. All this was happening when we were expecting our second baby.
I was not even informed of my daughter being born after few weeks. I learnt the news from some friends and family who resided in my wife’s hometown.
Next day we filed a complaint at High court against police. We tried to involve relatives/friends but my wife and in-laws completely discontinued communication. We now filed for child custody and my wife was summoned by the high court.
The day she realised that a case had been filed against her, within 19-days days she filed a false and fabricated case under Section 498A (dowry harassment) against me and my parents. My in-laws wanted to particularly frame us in criminal cases so that child custody could not be given to either me or my parents.
When we realised that an FIR was filed against us, we had to run for anticipatory bail at high court. Our lawyer advised us to leave our home and we had to take shelter in other people’s place to avoid arrest. Later the court approved the pre-arrest bail to all three of us, categorically stating that ‘the possibility of the victim having lodged the FIR as a counter-blast, cannot be ruled out.”
I Filed Multiple RTIs
On pretext of recently delivering a baby, my wife stopped attending court dates. Infact, to harass me and my parents even more, she voluntarily resigned from her job and filed 3 more criminal cases against us under Domestic Violence Act and also claimed for monthly maintenance. Now we had cases running parallely in multiple courts.
She also tarnished mine and my parents image on social media, and all her feminist friends started abusing my family without learning our side. Not a single lawyer was willing to take up a defamation case against her.
Within 10-days of filing maintenance application, my wife went for a job interview. Since she had applied for a post within a government organisation, the same fell under the ambit of RTI. I started writing to her organisation where she was employed to extract as many details about her employment so that I could defend my maintenance case in court.
My wife even approached Supreme Court asking them to restrain me from filing any more RTIs against her, however, the same was not entertained.
Suspension From Top Consulting Firm
In December 2020, I received a call from my HR Head informing me verbally that my wife had lodged a complaint against me. She also informed my organisation of multiple criminal proceedings pending against me. HR head asked me to voluntarily resign.
When I asked for a copy of the complaint, I was never given one. Thus, I chose to write a detailed email sharing a copy of high court bail order. However, no one from the ethics committee or anyone else within the system, allowed me a chance to submit my side.
There was no performance issue at my end, since I was already servicing good clients during this period. Despite the same, in February this year, I was informed to hand over my projects to another employee from March 1. When I once again questioned why I was being pronounced guilty even without any court order, no one from the system was willing to give me any proper response.
Mr ABC has been discharged pursuant to the terms and conditions of his employment contract with XYZ.
- Our endeavour is to bring to light plight of Men faced due to Gender Biased Laws
- While organisations today proudly boast of striking Gender Balance thereby promoting Equality, often they overlook how they are swinging the pendulum to the other side
- Time and again, supreme court, high courts have clarified how Section 498A is one of the most misused weapon by disgruntled wives and their families
- Corporates must draft policies in accordance with the same
- Termination of any employee is a blot on his career, even before any charges in matrimonial proceedings are proven against him
- Word of the woman cannot be taken as final, unless a competent court instructs the corporate to sack the employee concerned
- We have had cases where women have failed to get favourable orders from court and thus resorted to writing nastiest emails to bosses and super bosses of their husbands, sharing extremely personal and demeaning one sided allegations
- We leave this story with a thought – Should organisations entertain matrimonial disputes without court order?