Domestic violence case filed by wife and she lost the case
A husband and a wife have 17 year old daughter. Wife filed a case under section 498-A against husband but the District Court in Delhi ruled in favour of the husband. The wife again filed an Appeal in the Sessions Court/Metropolitan Magistrate Court and that also upheld the decision of the District Court, but directed the husband to pay a monthly sum to his daughter living with his wife for his school fees till the age of 18 i.e. for 1 year only. Now, the husband has lost his job because of the cases filed by his wife. Q1 . Can the Husband go to the High Court and file a Criminal or a Civil Writ Petition, also a defamation case and claim damages from his wife for loosing his job and reputatuion ? Q2. Can the husband file for Divorce Proceedings against her wife ? Is it feasible for the husband to file this divorce case ? Can the wife demand maintenance and property from the husband ? Q3. The husband also wants to oust her from the husband's property in another flat of the husband, she is still staying after loosing the cases under section 498-A. Will this effect the divorce case if filed by the husband ? How should the husband approach the situation . 1. Wants to oust the wife from her property. 2.Wants to claim damages from wife for reputation and loosing job and file a defamation case. 3. Can he claim divorce ? Is this the situation that he can take divorce in ? PLEASE SUGGEST ME
Presuming the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 applies to the couple it is stated that Section 13 of the said Act, apart from other grounds, pronounces cruelty (physical or mental) against the spouse to be a valid ground for divorce. In the light of this provision courts have held that when a wife makes false allegations against a husband, such as accusing him of having an illicit relationship or like in the present case, wherein she accused him of subjecting her to brutality, and maliciously litigating against him, it constitutes mental cruelty of such nature that the husband cannot reasonably be asked to live with her and is entitled divorce. Hence here the husband can legally claim divorce as he has valid grounds and a strong case.
However, though the husband might claim divorce on valid grounds, it is mandated by Section 125 of the Cr.Pc. 1973, that every wife has a right to maintenance from her husband after divorce, provided she can prove before the competent court that she is unable to maintain herself. Therefore the question of whether she can receive maintenance can only be answered after she proves her incapability to maintain herself.
In concern to ousting of a wife from the property of the husband, it was held by various courts that, while the wife is still in the wedlock of her spouse, she has a complete entitlement to reside in the property exclusively owned by her husband. Therefore unless the divorce is granted to the husband he cannot initiate eviction proceedings against her. Any attempt to do so by the husband may attract the provisions of Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act 2005, that aims to protect women from acts of domestic violence, which includes ousting of the wife from the household. The husband only after divorce can file a mandatory injunction against his wife to evict her from his property. Therefore it is suggested that the husband must wait until after the grant of divorce to evict his wife.
Lastly, the Supreme Court has held, the Right to Reputation to be an important facet of the Right to Life contemplated under Article 21. However, no writ petition of civil or criminal nature can be instituted in the high court as, defense of violation of fundamental rights can only be taken against the state. However, criminal proceedings can be instituted against the wife in a sessions court for tarnishing the husband's reputation under Section 499 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 which states that whoever by malicious intent causes injury to a person’s reputation can be held liable for defamation and Section 500 of IPC which contemplates the punishment for defamation. In the present case due to the wife's false accusations, the husband was subjected to immense injury and can claim damages for defamation.
1) Sadhana Srivastava v. Arvind Kumar Srivastava, AIR 2006 (case for proving mental cruelty)
2) Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum (Section 125 Cr. Pc. Is not affected by personal laws and every wife irrespective of religion has a right to maintenance from her husband)
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