Women in Parental Home

Compelling A Married Women To Live In Her Parental Home Amounts To Cruelty: Madhya Pradesh High Court

In the matter of Amar Singh v. Smt. Vimla, the Madhya Pradesh High Court on 22nd June 2021 observed that compelling a married women to live in her parental home amounts to cruelty. Further, the High Court noted that the Court below (Family Court) did not commit any mistake by awarding the maintenance from the date of the application.

The Respondent (Smt. Vimla) had filed an application under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. on the ground that she got married to the Applicant (Amar Singh) in accordance with Hindu rituals. The Applicant and the Respondent’s in-laws not being satisfied with the dowry, harassed, and abused her. In September 2017, she was ousted from her matrimonial house and is now residing with her parents who are extremely poor and not able to meet her expenses. It was prayed that the applicant be directed to pay Rs.15,000/- per month by way of maintenance amount, for which the Applicant filed a reply.

It was contended by the Applicant that the marriage was performed without any dowry. He further denied all allegations levelled against him. The Applicant pleaded that the Respondent’s behaviour towards his parents was cruel, and that the respondent never allowed the Applicant to consummate the marriage and she was continuously challenging his potency in the society. It was pleaded that the Respondent is self sufficient and running her parental home from her own income and that is the reason her parents are insisting that the Applicant should reside in the parental home of the Respondent as Gharjamai. When the Applicant refused to do so, a false case was instituted under section 498-A of IPC against the Applicant and his family.

The Family Court held that it cannot be said that the Respondent is residing separately without any reasonable reason. It was also observed that the applicant is an able-bodied person and certain allegations have been made by the Applicant, which have not been proved by him. It was also found that the Respondent is not doing any work and she is unable to maintain herself. The Court further awarded an amount of Rs.7,000/- by way of monthly maintenance as even though, the Respondent failed to prove that the Applicant is having any agriculture land, it appears that the Applicant belongs to a financially sound family. Challenging this order of the Family Court, the current application has been filed by the Applicant.

The High Court held that:

  1. After having levelled serious allegations against her and her parents and having failed to prove the same, it cannot be said that the respondent is residing separately without any reasonable reason.
  2. It is not the case of the Applicant that he had ever tried to take the respondent back from her parental home. Thus, it is also clear that the applicant has deserted the respondent and he cannot take advantage of his own wrong.
  3. Compelling a married women to live in her parental home amounts to cruelty.
  4. The Court relied on Shamima Farooqui v. Shahid Khan, and observed that if the husband is healthy and is an able bodied person, then he is under legal obligation to support his wife.
  5. Considering the totality of facts and circumstances, it cannot be said that the amount of Rs.7,000/- awarded by Court below is on a higher side.

– Esha Shah, Paralegal

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