‘Not paying for child’s birth is not domestic violence’

NEW DELHI: Expenses of child’s delivery whether borne by the husband or by the woman’s parents is of no consequence, held a court while rejecting a woman’s claims of domestic violence against her estranged husband and in-laws. The court held that the same did not amount to domestic violence.

Similarly, metropolitan magistrate Bhavna Kalia also held that her allegations were vague. The woman had filed a plea under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act seeking various relief including compensation and an order on residence.

The court noted that the woman’s testimony was full of contradictions which prima facie showed that the husband and his family cared for the couple’s child. “It appears that the respondent was bearing all the household expenses and school expenses of the child but no extra expenses of the aggrieved. This cannot amount to domestic violence,” the court held.
However, she alleged, an additional demand of Rs 2-3 lakh was made by the in-laws. The woman also asserted that in 2001, when she was pregnant, her in-laws sent her to her parental home for the delivery of the child. She claimed all the expenses of her hospitalisation were borne by her parents.

She said that in January 2002, she was “compelled” to leave her matrimonial home with her child. The woman also said that on her “alcoholic” husband’s demand her parents had to arrange for a separate accommodation. In April 2007, the husband deserted the woman and their child. The husband and his family, through their counsel Prabhjit Jauhar, however refuted all the allegations made by the woman. The counsel said that the man and the woman had eloped, and therefore, there was no question of a dowry demand. On the contrary, it was the woman’s father and brother who had a problem with the marriage and had also threatened the couple.

Times of India | Aug 15, 2017, Page 10