A woman who is estranged from her husband is entitled to choose her place of alternative accommodation, the Bombay high court said on Saturday.
The court rejected the plea of a Dahisar resident, who challenged a lower court order directing him to provide alternative accommodation to his estranged wife at Mumbai, and not at his native place, as he had offered.
The husband challenged an August 2015 order of the city sessions court, which had upheld an order of the Girgaum magistrate court directing him to either provide alternative accommodation to his estranged wife or pay her a particular amount towards rent, in addition to interim monthly maintenance.
The magistrate court had passed the order in January 2014, based on a complaint filed by the woman under provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
The sessions court had reduced the amount of interim maintenance to be paid to the woman and her two children from Rs13,000 to Rs10,000.
However, the court refused to interfere with the order regarding alternative accommodations.
The husband approached the high court, contending that he was residing at his native place and thus was not bound to provide alternative accommodation to his estranged wife and children at Mumbai.
He said he offered to accommodate them at his native place, which his wife did not agree to.
Justice AM Badar, however, refused to believe that the husband was staying at his native place after noticing that Dahisar was mentioned as his place of residence in the plea put before the magistrate court and the appeal before the sessions court.
“I do not find any merit in the contention that as the applicant resides at his native place and not at Mumbai, he is obliged to provide accommodation to his wife at his native place,” he added.
“The applicant’s wife is a Mumbai resident,” said the judge. “She is entitled to alternative accommodation in Mumbai and not at the applicant’s native place.”
The judge rejected the husband’s contention challenging the quantum of interim maintenance, saying there was no illegality in the amount.