Noting that pets fulfill the emotional deficit caused due to broken relationships, a Magistrate Court in Mumbai awarded interim maintenance for a 55 years old woman for her 3 dogs.
Considering her financial background and three dogs, Metropolitan Magistrate Komalsing Rajput ordered the husband to pay Rs 50,000 interim maintenance every month to the wife.
“It is also argued that applicant is also claimed maintenance for her three pets i.e. Rottweiler dogs. Such ground can not be considered. I am not agree with these submissions, the pets are also part and parcel of descent lifestyle. Pets are necessary for human beings to lead healthy life as they fulfill the emotional deficit occurred on account of broken relationships. Therefore, this can not be ground to mitigate the maintenance amount,” the court said.
The Court noted that the husband’s failure to provide any means of survival for the wife after the separation constitutes economic violence as she has no source of income and is fully dependent on the husband.
“The fact of separation and non-arrangement of any means for survival of the applicant by the respondent is admitted. It is also admitted that applicant have no sources of income and she is solely dependent on the respondent. Her age is also considerable and there are other factors such as illness and pets kept by her, are also accruing financial liability on her…these admitted facts clearly constitute economic violence,” the Court said.
The case was lodged under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (DV Act), wherein the complainant sought several interim reliefs, with a primary focus on maintenance. In her application, the complainant asserted that she entered into matrimony on September 7, 1986, and is a mother to two married daughters who currently reside overseas. She further disclosed that due to certain differences, her husband sent her to Mumbai in 2021, assuring her of continued maintenance and essential provisions. Unfortunately, he failed to uphold his commitment, as per her claims.
In her application to the court, she made serious allegations of enduring various acts of domestic violence throughout her marriage, which she elaborated on in detail. Seeking necessary redress, she filed the current application requesting a monthly maintenance amount of Rs. 70,000. Her argument rested on the fact that her husband, who operates a business in Bengaluru and possesses other income sources, should bear the responsibility of providing her with financial support.
On the other hand, the husband refuted all the allegations and stated that she left the matrimonial house voluntarily. He also argued to pay the maintenance citing the reason that he suffered losses in business.
The Court rejected the contention of the husband that the maintenance should not include three rottweiler dogs. It held that the responsibility for the care and maintenance of the wife’s pets should be included in the maintenance amount.