The Bombay High Court recently refused to interfere with an order of the family court directing a 75-year-old man to pay Rs.1 lakh in compensation to his 72-year-old wife under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
A division bench of Justice Akhil Kureshi and Justice Sarang Kotwal denied relief to Subhash Anand, the appellant husband who challenged the order of the Family Court, Mumbai, dated September 18, 2018. The court also permitted the respondent wife to access the upper floor of the house where her husband resides on the ground floor.
"Since several years they are having a matrimonial dispute. The unfortunate aspect of the matter is that at such advanced age, the Respondent Wife had filed the Criminal Misc. Application before Girgaon Court complaining of domestic violence at the hands of the husband," the court observed.
In her application before the family court, the respondent wife had prayed for restraining her husband from dispossessing her from the matrimonial home in Walkeshwar, Mumbai.
The family court allowed her application and passed several directions, including restraining the appellant husband or his servants from entering the upper floor of the house to protect the wife's right to reside under Sections 17 and 19 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
In its order, the family court said-
"The respondent is directed to pay compensation of Rs.1 lakh to the petitioner under Sec.22 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 for committing act of domestic violence by causing mental torture, emotional distress to the petitioner."
Appellant husband's lawyer Pandit Kasar submitted that the husband has agreed not to dispossess the wife without order of the court. Whereas, respondent wife's counsel Chandana Salgaonkar argued that the husband has in the past shown abusive and violative tendency and therefore, the order passed by the family court should be continued without any interim modification or stay.
The court made certain minor modifications to the family court order, but refused to stay it and observed-
"We have perused the order passed by the Family Court and sifted through the other documents on record with the limited purpose of providing for interim relief pending the final hearing of Family Court Appeal. When the husband himself has agreed not to dispossess the wife from the said property, in any case, therefore, the question of staying direction issued by the Family Court in this respect does not arise."
Read the Order Here