A Pune court on Monday asked a father to pay his 11-year-old son a monthly maintenance of Rs. 12,000 till he is 18, under a law meant to protect women from domestic violence.
This was one of the few known instances when a male used the Protection to Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) since it was enforced in 2005.
The boy, Chinmay (name changed), had alleged in the landmark petition filed in March last year that his father, Sumeet (name changed), who is divorced from his mother, was not bearing his educational expenses.
In April, the court had passed an interim order asking the father to pay R1,500 every month until it issues a final judgment.
After Monday’s judgment, Sumeet, an IT professional, also volunteered to bear additional expenses of Chinmay’s tuition fee for class 10 and 12.
Chinmay’s parents were married in July 1999 and their son was born next year. The couple separated in January 2002 and divorced in May 2005.
The court had granted Chinmay’s permanent custody to his mother, while the father was allowed to meet him. The father was also asked to pay R500 per month for his son’s education.
But he did not pay the maintenance, causing the boy emotional and psychological trauma.
“The father’s attitude had brought great mental and emotional agony to the boy,” said Aseem Sarode, the advocate who represented Chinmay.
The landmark case has shattered the myth that only girls or women could take shelter under the Act when seeking justice on any matter of domestic violence.
“Section 2 of the PWDVA specifically mentions the word child, which is used in a neutral way,” Sarode said.
He said ‘child’ means any person below the age of 18 including an adopted or foster boy or girl.