Beating the law

Print edition : April 01, 2016

Case 1

A woman approached a non-governmental organisation (NGO) when all attempts to stop her husband from beating her failed. Her husband was having an affair and threw her out of the house. The NGO summoned the husband for counselling. He attended a few sessions but then began missing the sessions. The woman was referred to a legal aid NGO, which filed a case under the PWDV Act. The husband filed his reply in which he said the wife harassed him.

He said he had filed for a divorce in Sangamner, the town where they got married, and produced the divorce decree. The husband apparently used the time during counselling to initiate divorce proceedings. The woman was not aware that an ex parte divorce was granted. According to legal aid workers, had she filed a case right at the beginning, her husband would not have been in a position to exploit the law.

Case 2

A woman approached the Mumbai-based NGO Awaaz-e-Nissan to complain about being subjected to repeated assault by her spouse. The NGO sent a notice to the husband. He attended several counselling and settlement meetings. Meanwhile, he used the time to transfer all his assets to his father’s name. When the woman filed a domestic violence case, the demand for award of maintenance, or monetary assistance, was rejected as the husband was able to prove that he had no assets.

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