12 July 2023 2:30 AM GMT
Observing that pets fulfil emotional deficit occurred due to broken relationships, a magistrate court in Mumbai recently awarded interim maintenance to a 55-year-old woman for her three Rottweiler dogs in a domestic violence case.Metropolitan Magistrate Komalsing Rajput ordered the woman’s husband to pay Rs. 50,000 per month as interim maintenance, taking into account her financial...
Observing that pets fulfil emotional deficit occurred due to broken relationships, a magistrate court in Mumbai recently awarded interim maintenance to a 55-year-old woman for her three Rottweiler dogs in a domestic violence case.
Metropolitan Magistrate Komalsing Rajput ordered the woman’s husband to pay Rs. 50,000 per month as interim maintenance, taking into account her financial background and the care and upkeep of her pet dogs.
“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 observed.
The court also observed that after their separation, the husband's failure to arrange for means of survival for his wife who has no source of income and is completely dependent on him constitutes economic violence.
“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 held.
The case was filed under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (DV Act), with the complainant seeking various interim reliefs, primarily maintenance. The complainant stated in her application that she has been married since September 7, 1986, and has two married daughters who reside abroad. She submitted that due to some differences, her husband sent her to Mumbai in 2021, assuring her that he would provide maintenance and other basic necessities. However, he failed to fulfil his promise, she claimed.
She alleged that she experienced various acts of domestic violence during her marriage, as detailed in the main application submitted to the court. She filed the present application seeking a monthly maintenance amount of Rs. 70,000. She argued that her husband, who runs a business in Bengaluru and has other sources of income, should be held accountable for supporting her financially.
Her husband denied all allegations of domestic violence. He claimed that she left their matrimonial home on her own accord, without any fault on his part. He also contended that he has suffered losses in business and lacked the means to provide any maintenance.
The court perused the allegations and said that prima facie, the husband committed domestic violence. It further said that there was no concrete material to show that the husband suffered business losses.
The court rejected the husband's argument that the maintenance amount should not include the three dogs, and held that the responsibility for the care and maintenance of the complainant's pets should be factored into the maintenance amount awarded.
The court partially allowed the application and directed the husband to pay Rs. 50,000 per month as interim maintenance, effective from the date of filing the application until the final decision in the main application. The court also instructed the woman to file a separate application for the recovery of any arrears if her husband fails to comply with the order.
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