The Madras High Court has made much needed remarks in a domestic violence allegations filed by wife against her husband.
Justice S Vaidyanathan affirmed that the woman had filed a domestic violence complaint against her husband only to harass him. Expressing concern that there is no law like the Domestic Violence Act to deal with complaints against women in domestic relationships, Justice Vaidyanathan said,
It appears that, the 2nd Respondent (woman-complainant/ wife of the petitioner) is unnecessarily harassing the Petitioner. Unfortunately, there is no provision like the Domestic Violence Act, to proceed against the wife by the husband. Complaint has been given four days prior to grant of divorce by the Family Court, which itself clearly shows that the 2nd Respondent has anticipated divorce order and created unnecessary trouble to the Petitioner.
The judge did not stop here. As reported by Bar and Bench, the matter also prompted the Court to comment on the dwindling sanctity attached to the “sacrament” of marriage, particularly after live-in relationships were approved under the Domestic Violence Act. The court said,
The present generation must understand that, marriage is not a contract, but a sacramental one. Of course, the word ‘sacrament’ has no meaning after coming into effect of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, that, approves live-in-relationship. Husband and wife must realize that, ‘ego’ and ‘intolerance’ are like footwear and should be left out of their house, when they enter the home, else, the child/children will have to face a miserable life.
The High Court was dealing with a plea by a man seeking reinstatement to his job, from which he was suspended citing a complaint lodged by his wife in a domestic issue.
The Court noted that the petitioner had earlier moved a divorce petition contending cruelty and voluntary desertion by his wife, which was accepted by the Family Court. However, days before the verdict was pronounced, the wife was stated to have filed the domestic violence complaint against the petitioner.
Madras High Court
Though the wife was impleaded as a party to the case before the High Court, she failed to appear despite service of notice. In this backdrop, the Court opined that the wife may have acted only to harass the petitioner.
Justice Vaidyanathan, therefore, ordered reinstatement of the petitioner to his job within 15 days. The court thus observed,
As the family issue has already been dissolved by means of the order dated 19.02.2020 passed by the Family Court in H.M.O.P.No.11 of 2015, the question of placing the Petitioner under suspension does not arise, more so, when there is a finding of cruelty and voluntary desertion by the 2nd Respondent herein.
It appears that, only to harass the Petitioner, the present complaint has been lodged by the 2nd Respondent, based on which, Police have initiated action and the 1st Respondent/Department has placed the Petitioner under suspension.
gend. However, in the meanwhile, the Court opined that there is no need to keep the petitioner under suspension from work.
Concluding the matter, the court said,
In case, the matter ends in compromise or the Petitioner is acquitted of the charges, as the Family Court has already held that, there is cruelty and desertion by the 2nd Respondent, the Petitioner will have to be paid by the Government, without extracting any work.
Karan Thapar Interview (2006) With WCD Minister Renuka Choudhary (Domestic Violence Act)
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