Mumbai Session Court upheld the Vikhroli Magistrate Court’s order while directing a 35-year old man to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation for causing physical and mental harassment to the wife.
“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,” noted Additional Session Judge AC Daga.
Mumbai Session Court dismissed the petition of a Ghatkopar resident who had challenged the Vikhroli Magistrate court order which awarded compensation worth Rs 1 lakh to the wife under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
The two got married in June 2013 and the woman stayed there till September 2014. She filed a case against her husband and her in-laws.
The Magistrate court has directed the man 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 petitioner submitted before the Session Court that her wife earned and stayed with her family, so she didn’t need the rent. Adding that there was no medical evidence to prove the harassment, the man claimed that there was no domestic violence.
“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,” the court noted.
The court further noted, “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 woman had also submitted that her husband was suffering from erectile dysfunction. “It becomes the duty of the appellant (husband) to lead appropriate evidence to nullify the allegations. No evidence has been laid down,” the court noted.
The wife told the court that when she tried to come close to her husband on October 12, 2014, he pushed and slapped her, leading to a bleeding nose.
However, the husband denied the claim, submitting that his mother underwent a cataract operation on October 9. To which the court replied that 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 court noted that there is ample evidence that she was subjected to domestic violence.
The wife had also submitted that she didn’t have a source of income, while her husband has been earning Rs 35,000/month. She also informed that he is a partner in a firm (having 50% shares in it) and had even purchased a flat for Rs 25,00,000. “The husband had a duty to maintain the wife at the same standard of living,” the court said.