In landmark judgment, Madras HC orders abusive husband to leave house

Justice RN Manjula ordered the husband to move out within two weeks, failing which the police would be sent to remove him from the house.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

In a landmark judgment, the Madras High Court said that a husband accused of domestic violence can be removed from the home if that is the only way to ensure “domestic peace”. A bench of Justice RN Manjula passed the order on August 11 while hearing an appeal filed by a woman in a divorce case. “If the removal of the husband from the home is the only way to ensure domestic peace, the courts need to pass such orders irrespective of the fact whether the respondent has or has not any other accommodation of his own,” the judge said, adding, “A relief for a person who fears about an impending atom bomb would be just to remove the bomb from his/her vicinity.”

The HC was hearing the woman’s plea against a family court order from April, when the lower court had allowed the husband, whom his wife has accused of domestic violence, to stay in the same house, but had directed him “not to disturb her”. The woman had filed an appeal in the High Court asking it to direct her husband to move out from the house. She said that her husband was “not able to reconcile with her professional life”, leading to an abusive marriage.

The HC ordered the husband to move out within two weeks, failing which the police would be sent to remove him from the house. The court said that a couple might live together even after their marriage doesn’t work, but “it is a completely different scenario if one party unfurls an unruly and aggressive attitude. In such an unreasonably adverse situation, the petitioner and her children cannot be compelled to live under constant fear and insecurity.”

Justice Manjula said that courts should not be indifferent to women who fear the presence of their husband in the house. The bench observed that allowing an abusive husband to be in the same house and expecting him not to disturb the household members was “impractical”.

The HC said that if a husband was disturbing domestic peace, “there need not be any hesitation in giving the practical enforcement for the protection order by removing the husband from the house”.

Granting relief to the woman, the HC also took note of the fact that suo motu contempt proceedings were initiated against the husband for stating that one of the judges in the High Court who passed an order in the case was biased.

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