The obligation of the husband continues throughout the matrimonial life and the husband cannot get away with an excuse that for many years no request was made by the wife for the maintenance amount. The Court said while upholding maintenance awarded to a wife who filed petition for maintenance after 3 decades
The husband in this case raised his contention that for 30 years, his wife had no grievance about his second marriage and it is only after so many years that she filed the petition and hence, is barred by limitation.
Justice Rathnakala observed that the question of limitation raised by the husband cannot be mechanically accepted on the core point that the wife has filed this petition after decades of separation.
The Court further said: “Domestic violence” under Section 3 of the Act among others takes into its fold ‘economic abuse’ also. The omission of the husband in neglecting to maintain the aggrieved person, who is at the receiving end, falls within the description of Section 3 of the Act. The very fact that he has led life with another woman during the subsistence of his marriage with his wife and begot children from the second wife amounts to emotional abuse as contemplated by Section 3(a) of the Act.”
The Court finally held that the husband is guilty of the offence of domestic violence and limitation cannot be a ground for the husband to escape his liability and that the wife is entitled for the protection under the Domestic Violence Act.
The Indian Lawyer