A woman can claim her right to maintenance and protection from a man by proving she lived with him under one roof and had a sexual relation with him.
The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court recently passed the judgment while quashing and setting aside a sessions court order. The person [wife] has to prove that she lived together with the respondent [husband] in a “shared household”, the bench said on November 2. “When the respondent denies the relationship itself, it can be used as one of the circumstances against him for proof of ‘domestic violence’.”
The woman is the second wife of the man and she lived with him for five years. She was driven out of the house by the man and his first wife on November 1, 2007. The woman had moved the court seeking relief under various sections of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
Her contention was: her husband had asked her to bring money and gold ornaments from her parents and had forced her to work hard. She also accused the man and his first wife of harassing her mentally as well as physically.
A first class judicial magistrate had allowed the woman’s petition under the act after examining several witnesses, including a gynaecologist who in the past had examined her and the man.
The husband moved the sessions court challenging the magistrate’s order. When the court quashed the order, the woman challenged it in the high court.
The HC bench, however, said that there was sufficient evidence they were married and they had a sexual relation.