Last week, a sessions court in Mumbai has ordered a 70-year-old woman’s husband and son to pay her monthly maintenance, after the lady alleged ‘Economic Abuse” as per the Domestic Violence (Prevention) Act.
- Shobhna Shah, a 70-year-old woman filed an application against her son Dheeraj Shah (42), alleging that he was trying to transfer shares worth some crores, which were held as “family capital”, to his account
- Shobhna also alleged that her husband Kanti Shah (70) and Dheeraj physically assaulted her and threw her out of the house when she refused to give her consent for transfer of shares
- Later, the woman moved into her daughter’s marital home in South Mumbai and claimed a maintenance of Rs 2 Lakhs per month from her husband and son
- The court upheld her application but granted a sum of Rs 40,000 per month
The Metropolitan Court, while passing the order, observed,
Since the parties are yet to adduce evidence, there cannot be any finding as to merit of the case. At the same time, the fact that she had taken shelter at her daughter’s place after a long and seemingly happy relationship with the respondents, suggests there has been occurrence of some unpleasant incident which could be domestic violence, which also covers economic abuse.
Men’s Day Out spoke to Dheeraj Shah to understand their side of the version in detail. While the decision of honourable courts are final, we present to you the other side of the story below:
- Dheeraj has had a difficult childhood since his father had run into huge debts and even left the home while Dheeraj was pursuing his Chartered Accountancy course
- Due to lenders knocking at their door, Dheeraj had to leave his studies mid way and start working for their family business right from the scratch, with a sum of Rs 10,000 (as informed to us by Dheeraj)
- He toiled his way over the years, missing several family functions and re-established the business with a fortune of few crores
- Dheeraj also added names of his wife, mother and father in joint demat accounts and properties self owned by him to ensure smooth administrative convenience
- Dheeraj claims his two sisters did not support the family ever during their bad times and were living their lives in their respective marital homes
- However, in 2014-15, when his sisters and their husbands were alerted of the good capital Dheeraj had built for his family, they instigated their mother to claim her and their own share as well
- According to Dheeraj, Shobhna had also withdrawn all the jewellery from the bank locker, that belonged to his wife
Dheeraj criticised how easy it was for any woman to go and allege Domestic Violence in court. He also said that it pained him to part with his hard earned money outside of the shared household. He said that he had added his mother’s name in assets in good faith, however, now she claims the money to be hers and also wants the right to give it to her daughters and her family. Dheeraj says,
The judge clearly asked my mother whether she wanted family or money and my mother chose money. This is a clear case of Legal Money Laundering.
As on date, entire assets are locked up by court until there is a final verdict in the matter. Dheeraj and his father will end up paying Rs 40,000 per month to Shobhna until and unless court gives their final order, which can be challenged in multiple courts of appeal.
DISCLAIMER | Names of parties have been changed since the matter is subjudice.