Bombay High Court Upholds ₹3 Crore Compensation to Domestic Violence Survivor

Mainstream
28-Mar-2024
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In a significant verdict, the Bombay High Court upheld a trial court's decision, affirming a man's liability to pay ₹3 crores in compensation to his estranged wife under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

Justice Sharmila Deshmukh, in her ruling, acknowledged the gravity of the domestic violence endured by the wife over the years, stating, "The trial Court has considered in detail the acts of domestic violence committed by the applicant and the evidence which has come on record."

The Court emphasized that the compensation amount was determined considering the social standing and the impact of the violence on the aggrieved person, noting, "the acts of domestic violence would be greater felt by the respondent no 1 (wife) as it would affect her self-worth."

The case unfolded over years of alleged abuse, spanning from 1994 to 2017, during which the couple resided both in the United States and Mumbai. Despite their social status, the Court underscored the severity of the harm inflicted on the wife, advocating for robust compensation.

The husband's legal team, led by Advocates Vikramaditya Deshmukh and Sapana Rachure, contested the compensation order. However, the High Court, represented by Advocate Ashutosh Kulkarni as amicus curiae, upheld the trial court's decision, highlighting the evidence of continuous domestic violence.

In addition to the compensation, the trial court had also mandated monthly maintenance of ₹1.5 lakhs and suitable accommodation or monthly rent of ₹75,000 for the wife.

The legal saga ensued after the husband sought a divorce in the US in response to the wife's domestic violence complaint in Mumbai. Despite the US court's decision in his favor, the Indian courts ordered substantial compensation to the wife.

Justice Deshmukh's verdict emphasized the comprehensive evaluation of evidence, encompassing domestic violence acts in both India and the USA, including economic abuse.

The judgment serves as a pivotal precedent in domestic violence cases, reiterating the judiciary's commitment to protecting survivors' rights and providing substantial redressal for their suffering.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News Writer, MIT ADT University