Bombay high court rejects woman’s plea for maintenance 27 years after marriage is annulled

It would be gross abuse of provisions of Domestic Violence Act, the court said

mumbai Updated: Mar 06, 2018 12:53 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
Bombay high court,Nagpur,plea for maintenance
The Bombay high court said the petition is based entirely on the premise that her ex must support her as she is facing hardship.

The Bombay high court has refused to let a 58-year-old Nagpur resident seek maintenance from her 69-year-old ex-husband under provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (DV) Act, 2005, 27 years after the dissolution of marriage. Allowing her to do so would be gross abuse of the provisions of Act, the court observed.

“Even if utmost latitude is given to the petitioner and it is assumed that she was subjected to domestic violence prior to the dissolution of marriage, the institution of the petition under section 12 of DV Act... is a gross abuse of the statutory provisions,” said Justice Rohit Deo, while rejecting the petition last week.

The duo got married in August 1979 in Nagpur city, but the marriage did not last long, and two years later, they started living apart. In January 1987, an additional district judge annulled the marriage .

In 2014, the woman approached a magistrate court invoking provisions of the DV Act and sought that her ex-husband provide her a flat to live in as well as subsistence. She contended that she was living at the mercy of her aged brother and was totally dependent on him for food and shelter.

On November 18, 2016, the magistrate court rejected her appeal, saying that it had been grossly delayed. She then approached the sessions court, which on July 24, 2017, upheld the lower court’s order and dismissed her plea. The petitioner then approach the high court.

Now, the high court, too, has rejected her plea. Justice Deo said the petition was based entirely on the premise that as the woman was facing hardship, notwithstanding that the marriage was dissolved in 1987, her well-to-do husband had to support her financially.

There has been no interaction whatsoever between the petitioner and the respondent since the dissolution of their marriage, and not a single instance of domestic violence has been mentioned in the petition,” the court said.

First Published: Mar 06, 2018 12:51 IST