The Bombay High Court has allowed a man to stay in his own two-bedroom house,six years after he was allegedly driven out by his wife and her relatives and forced to stay in a hotel here.
Justices F M Reis and V M Kanade,in a recent order,ruled that the husband would stay in one bedroom while the wife would live in another bedroom of the 700 square feet area flat located in suburban Bandra.
The judges directed the wife to hand over duplicate keys of the house to the husband within two weeks and asked both of them not to create any obstructions or interference with each other’s possession.
The Court allowed the husband to use the kitchen and bathroom and ruled that other common facilities shall be utilised by both the parties. The wife sought stay on this order but the court rejected her plea.
According to the husband,he was forced to leave his flat on July 22,2007,on account of harassment at the hands of his wife and her relatives. Thereafter,he was not allowed to return home and when he tried to gain entry into the flat the wife’s brother assaulted him. As a result,since 2007,he had no option but to stay in a hotel.
The wife denied the allegation that her brother or her family was staying in the house. She said her mother had left her lucrative job and was now staying with her in the house. The wife alleged that she was subjected to physical as well as mental cruelty by the husband and if he was permitted to stay in the house there would be complications. The Court,however,noted that the family court had dismissed the husband’s petition for divorce and the house belonged to him as he had purchased it even before marriage. Therefore,he could not be prevented from staying there.
The Court observed that though several attempts have been made to amicably resolve the dispute between the parties and despite best efforts taken by the Mediator and also by this court,it appears that settlement is impossible. The High Court also stayed the April 21 order of the family court which had ordered the husband to pay wife monthly maintenance of Rs 20,000. The Judges noted that the trial (family) court erred in filed by the husband for divorce particularly when this (divorce) petition was dismissed by the Court. “As such,no such order of maintenance could have been passed.”
The judges,however,clarified that it is kept open for the wife to take out the appropriate proceeding seeking maintenance either under section 18 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act or under section 125 of The Code of Criminal Procedure.