A Sessions Court in Mumbai has upheld a Trial Court order of maintenance to a woman who alleged her husband is gay.

Additional Sessions Judge Dr. A.A. Joglekar while referring to Section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act observed that the contents noted by the wife from her husband’s phone caused her trauma, distress, and emotional abuse and noted –

“It is also evident that, while such documents qua screen­shots taken from the respondent No.1's mobile were led under evidence, those were not questioned or challenged or put to the applicant in her cross examination, more especially the same was not even rebutted by way of written submissions.”

In this case, the applicant–wife had alleged before the Court that even after six months into the marriage there was no marital intercourse. Further, it was contended that while the applicant was studying and respondent No. 1 was asleep it came to her notice that respondent No. 1 was indulged in sex chatting with a male. It was also stated that later respondent No. 1 created a fictitious Facebook account and the said Facebook account reflected respondent No. 1's compromising position with other men.

The Trial Court had directed the husband to pay Rs. 15,000 as maintenance to the wife against which the husband had approached the Sessions Court by filing an appeal.

Advocate Anil Jadhav appeared for the Appellant while Advocate Praful Chavan appeared for the Respondent before the Court.

The Court noted that Section 3 of the Act not only includes physical injuries or abuse, but also sexual, verbal emotional and economical abuse and observed –

“And therefore, it is rightly observed by the Ld. Trial Court that any act or omission or commission or conduct of respondent in violation of the same would naturally let the conduct under the purview of domestic violence. It is the case of the respondent No. 1 that, the documentary evidence pertaining to any such sex chat with a male gender is not substantiated by way of any such evidence.”

The Court further held, “…the factum of marriage is unrebutted and therefore, it can be well construed that, the applicant has definitely being subjected to such emotional and mental abuse from the respondents. Admittedly, now the applicant is residing apart from the respondents and as the factum of marriage and domestic violence is substantially proved, hence, it is incumbent upon the respondent No. 1 to maintain the applicant as the applicant at present has left the job, wherein she was engaged.”

Accordingly, the Court upheld the impugned order of the Trial Court and dismissed the appeal.

Cause Title- Vaibhav Ganpat Bandgar v. Vaishali Vaibhav Bandgar

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