New Delhi: A husband cannot be allowed to wriggle out of his liability towards his estranged wife on the basis of unilateral divorce taken by him during pendency of maintenance case, a Delhi court has said.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Pulastya Pramachala, while allowing the appeal of a woman, said the conduct of her husband who claimed to have divorced her amounts to economic abuse if he does not pay her the interim maintenance as per the order of the court.
"I find that at the time of filing this application, the domestic relationship was in existence by virtue of relationship of wife and husband, between them."
"A husband cannot be allowed to wriggle out of his liability on the basis of unilateral action of divorce taken during pendency of the proceedings of maintenance," the judge said.
The court was hearing the woman's appeal against the trial court's order which had denied her maintenance from her husband saying she had failed to prove her allegations of domestic violence.
The ASJ, however, set aside the trial court's order and said his misconduct was sufficient to bring the case of appellant(wife) within the purview of Domestic Violence Act, "thereby making her entitled to at least monetary relief".
"It is also well apparent that the husband had been compelling the appellant to literally beg for maintenance amount and arrears of the same by moving execution petitions again and again," it said.
The court held that act of husband for not paying the interim maintenance per month was economic abuse committed by him towards his wife and remanded the matter back to the trial court to decide the monetary relief to be granted to her.
In her plea, the wife had said that she got married in 2006 and within a few days her in-laws started ill-treating her for not bringing enough dowry.
She had alleged her husband has deserted her and had not paid a single penny for her and their child.
The husband, however refuted the allegations of torture and dowry demands and claimed to have divorced his wife in 2009 after she started harassing his parents.