A Mumbai session court upheld compensation to a woman in Domestic Violence case citing, “mental harassment is a mental injury that’s never visible to the naked eye and has to be established from the facts and circumstances of each case.”
The petition filed by a Ghatkopar resident against the compensation awarded to his wife by the Vikhroli Magistrate Court under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was dismissed by Additional Session Judge AC Daga.
The couple was married in June 2013, and the woman lived in her husband’s house till September 2014, reported India Today. Later, she filed a case against the husband and his family.
The Magistrate court had ordered the husband to pay Rs 10,000 per month towards maintenance, Rs 5,000 per month as rent for alternate accommodation and Rs 1,00,000 as compensation for domestic violence.
The wife said that when she touched her husband on October 12, 2014, he pushed and slapped her, leading to a bleeding nose.
The husband denied it and said his mother underwent a cataract operation on October 9, so the assault didn’t not occur. However, the court said there was no evidence to show that the mother was still in hospital on October 12, 2014, as a cataract patient is usually discharged on the day of operation.
The husband also told the Sessions Court that his wife did not need the rent since she earned and stayed with her parents. Also, he alleged since there was no domestic violence, the compensation order was also not right. He added that there is no medical evidence to prove she was beaten.
Sessions Court, Mumbai
The Sessions Court observed that the wife was subjected to mental and physical harassment by her husband and his family. The court added,
It is not always that injuries on the woman’s body can be seen because immediately after the assault, they normally do not go for medical tests or are not allowed to go for medical tests by their in-laws.
Adding further the court remarked how mental harassment is a mental injury that is never visible to the naked eye and has to be gathered from facts and circumstances of each case. The court said,
In this matter, ample evidence has been given by the respondent (wife) to show that she was subjected to mental and physical harassment by the appellants (husband and family).
The husband was also alleged to suffer from erectile dysfunction. Although the husband denied it, the court said,
It becomes the duty of the appellant (husband) to lead appropriate evidence to nullify the allegations. No evidence has been laid down.
The court said there is ample evidence that she was subjected to domestic violence. The wife also said she didn’t have any source of income, while the husband had a monthly income of Rs 35,000 and was a partner in a firm with 50% shares in it and had even purchased a flat for Rs 25,00,000. The court concluded,
The husband had a duty to maintain the wife at the same standard of living.
The 36-year-old estranged husband was asked to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation for causing both mental and physical harassment.
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