Srinagar: A trial court at Srinagar on Thursday directed a wife to pay Rs 10 lakh to her husband for frivolously dragging him to the courts on charges under the Domestic Violence Act.
The court while hearing an application filed by Shamshada Shah, who sought to withdraw a plea filed by her against her husband Aijaz Ahmad Shah under Domestic Violence Act, recorded that under the garb of court orders passed in the plea, the wife had thrown out her husband from his own house, rendering him homeless, despite a clear direction from court to both the parties to accommodate each other and live peacefully.
“At this point, the petitioner is seeking to withdraw the case just to evade the implementation of the court order passed on 29 April, 2020, directing both the parties to accommodate each other in a cordial and friendly relation in the house where the parties were residing before the dispute and that the wife Shamshada Akhter shall provide accommodation of two rooms to the husband Aijaz Parvaiz Shah in the said house,” Judge Fayaz Ahmad Qureshi recorded.
The court also recorded that the respondent, who was restrained from entering his own house, continues to be deprived of a shared household though it is admitted that both the parties have lived together as husband and wife for more than 30 years.
Judge Qureshi said, “This case is one such glaring example of abuse of process of law, where the AP has protracted the proceedings up to the maximum capacity of its elasticity and a domestic violence petition which is, at the initial stage, has been dragged up to the Supreme Court of India and the petitioner wife has ensured that the husband remains deprived of the shared-household even if the same is owned by the respondent.”
It was recorded by the court that it is quite obvious that the object of Protection of Women (from Domestic Violence) Act is to give protection to women from violence which takes place when they live in such domestic relation.
Judge Qureshi pointed out that the Domestic Violence Act has not been enacted to cause harassment to the other spouse or to further aggravate the matrimonial discord to the extent of throwing the respondent out of his own house.
“This legislation cannot be allowed to be used in a manner that it spoils life of couples living peacefully,” the court noted.
It was remarked that an act which is disproportionate to the level of protection can also be counter productive and instead of giving protection to the legitimate cases of domestic violence, it may have the potential to destroy marital institution.
“Therefore, it is important to sift and weigh cases to preserve the efficacy of Domestic Violence Act for legitimate and genuine cases,” the court noted.
On the facts of the case, the court allowed the instant application seeking withdrawal of the instant petition U/S 12 of D.V. Act along with all other applications and the petition was dismissed as withdrawn.
However, the court directed the petitioner to pay cost of Rs 10 lakh to the respondent who has been deprived of shelter and accommodation from his own house under the garb of order obtained in the instant petition.
It was also directed that both the parties restore the same position with respect to possession of the shared-household as existed on the date of the institution of instant petition.
“In case, Petitioner fails to pay or does not pay the cost to the respondent within a period of one month from the date of this order, the same shall be recovered in the manner prescribed for recovering land revenue,” the court said and directed.