Bombay HC Stands Firm: Man Directed to Pay Rs 3 Cr Compensation in Domestic Violence Case for Calling Wife ‘Second-hand’

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The Bombay High Court recently upheld a significant decision by a trial court, directing a man to pay a compensation of ₹3 crore and monthly maintenance of ₹1.5 lakh to his wife under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. 

The ruling came following a revision application filed by the husband against the sessions court’s order, which dismissed his appeal against the trial court’s decision.

The couple, who married in January 1994 in Mumbai and later performed a marriage ceremony in the USA, shared a house in Matunga upon their return to the city in 2005. However, marital discord led to the wife moving to her mother’s house in 2008, while the husband relocated to the USA in 2014. Subsequently, the husband filed for divorce in the USA in 2017, and the wife filed a complaint against him under the Domestic Violence Act in Mumbai.

In her application, the wife recounted numerous distressing incidents during their marriage, including instances of verbal degradation and physical violence. 

Particularly harrowing was an incident during their honeymoon in Nepal, where the husband cruelly labeled her as ‘second-hand’ due to a previous broken engagement. The abuse persisted, with the wife enduring relentless accusations of infidelity and threats of violence.

She even alleged that when they moved to Mumbai, the husband again accused her of having illicit relations with a milkman and vegetable vendor. She also alleged that on one occasion, the husband tried to suffocate her with a pillow.

The trial court found the husband guilty of domestic violence and directed him to provide alternative accommodation to the wife, along with monthly maintenance and compensation. Despite the husband’s claims that the DV proceedings were initiated in retaliation to the divorce proceedings initiated by him, the court upheld the trial court’s decision, emphasizing the significant impact of domestic violence on the victim’s self-worth, irrespective of their social status.

The high court’s decision underscores the importance of recognizing the cumulative effects of domestic violence on victims and upholding their rights to safety and dignity, regardless of their social standing.

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