19 Oct 2008, 0411 hrs IST, TNN
AHMEDABAD: Courts are getting tougher with those accused of atrocities under Domestic Violence (DV) Act, especially men. Recently, Ahmedabad district court ordered a Muslim family in Dholka to vacate a portion of their house for their daughter-in-law, despite the husband having divorced her.
Interestingly, out of seven of her in-laws, the court spared three women and ordered four men, including her former husband, to vacate the part of the house they were living in, for the woman and her two children who are suffering from Wilson’s disease.
As per case details, Sabina Radhanpuri, was married to her cousin, Arif, in 1995 and later separated from him, filing a case under DV Act against her husband, his three brothers, two sisters and mother on June 12, 2007. Besides alimony, she sought a share in the ancestral house in Dholka. She also requested the court to restrain her husband from transferring his property to others as he had married another woman.
Two weeks after the complaint, Arif divorced her. Magisterial court in Dholka, in its order dated October 10, 2007, ordered him to pay Rs 50,000 towards medical treatment for his two minor kids, Rs 9,000 per month towards alimony and asked family members to vacate the ground floor of the house for Sabina.
This order was not acceptable to the family, since they said Sabina had been given talaq, though she had challenged the validity of divorce in court. The family was ready to purchase a new house for Sabina, but didn’t want her to stay in the same one. Both sides filed appeals in Mirzapur district court.
Sabina claimed that after magistrate’s order, her husband started alienating the property so that he didn’t have to give a share to her, and requested the court to stop him from doing so. The three women in the family claimed that under provisions of DV Act, no woman could be punished. Hence, they should not be forced to vacate the house. The men claimed Sabina didn’t have any right to Arif’s property after talaq and cited Kerala High Court’s order in this regard.
After hearing the three parties, additional sessions judge, JJ Pandya, held that order to vacate the house would not be operated against the women, but the men would not be spared. Directing Arif not to transfer his assets till pendency of original case in Dholka court, the judge observed that despite Kerala High Court’s order, magistrate’s order to male members to vacate property for Sabina was legal and appropriate under DV Act.