• Husband abandoning and not reverting

Hi, 
I got married through an arranged marriage process in December 2014. After marriage I discovered they were little dissatisfied with some dowry related issues but since we were living in a different city it did not matter much. However soon, my husband started putting all expenses on me and started saying he is in debt and has no money etc. His mother got detected with cancer and since then using that as a pretext he has gone away and doing all his duties including financial but is not willing to return. All household expenses are completely on me and despite my repeated pleas for him to return he is not and rarely even answers calls. His mother has now been treated and is going back to her hometown but my husband won't return citing 'severe mental harassment' from my side - because I fought with him on how he can abandon his wife like this and not do any duties towards her while he does everything for his own family. Whatever I now may say he is not willing to come back and says he will settle in a different city etc. I call him daily multiple times and have tried to explain him everything I can in good faith, have had fights, tried all means. I even asked him to help me file mutual consent but honestly I feel cheated and would like him to pay damages if he had no intentions to take care of wife why in the first case did he marry. His family too is completely out of touch and probably wants this to end because they did not get enough dowry etc. 
I want to know what can I do in such situation. I do not want to involve myself in long drawn never ending court battles since it as much spoils my & my family's life. What can be the best way to move forward but ensure I am able to punish him for playing with a life?
Asked 1 year ago in Family Law from Mumbai, Maharashtra
Religion: Hindu
1) file domestic violence case against your husband and seek maintenance , compensation for mental torture undergone by you 

2) you can file 498A case against him and his family members for dowry harassment 

3) best option is to file for divorce by mutual consent 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23125 Answers
1214 Consultations
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Hi
since your marriage took place in dec.2014, you need to wait few more months to file mutual consent divorce under Hindu marriage act.
You should file for maintenance if your husband dis not providing you expenses,  if you don't have an earning sufficient enough to  support you.
If your husband is not agreeable for mutual consent divorce , you can proceed independently .
If you do not want a divorce, you can file an RCR in the court for restitution of conjugal right. But at the end of the day you cannot force him to stay with you or have conjugal relationship
You can also file a domestic violence petition and seek relief under sec.18 to 23 .
 Your marriage is in the first year and it is considered as the honeymoon period and you have problems due to his behavior and non caring attitude, so think whether it is advisable to continue in this relationship by pleading and requesting him to be back   
Take a decision for your future and accordingly engage an advocate to proceed legally, once the matter is in the ocurt try for a settlement to end the dispute if he co-operates.
Thresiamma G. Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
1316 Answers
85 Consultations
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Without an involvement of law or court proceedings you cannot get any relief.  You have to approach the legal authorities if you have to proper relief.
You cannot  get relief at your door steps. You can loge a police complaint for dowry demand and harassment and also for cruelty either physically or mentally against your husband and all those propel who demanded dowry or  were not satisfied with the low dowery you carried to their home.
You  can file a domestic violence case seeking residential rights, maintenance and also protection for your life.\You can file a maintenance case seeking monthly maintenance from your husband under section 125 cr.p.c. for having abandoned you and left to toil in lurch with any financial support to sustain your survival. 
If you have to get reliefs you have to approach police or court  otherwise you may think of some illegal methods known to you which cannot be recommended by any lawyer of this portal.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13935 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) in mutual consent divorce consent terms are drawn up which form part of the petition . if your husband is willing to pay you compensation or damages  it can form part of the consent  terms 

2)even if husband is unemployed he would have to comply with court orders . he cannot shirk his responsibilities because he is unemployed . if court awards you compensation husband has  to pay . no need to wait till he gets another job 

3) mutual consent divorce cases take 6 months to be disposed of . 

4) contested divorce case may take upto 5 years to be disposed of 

5) domestic violence case 5 years in mumbai 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23125 Answers
1214 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. If I file for mutual consent (to reduce the pain for myself), can I claim damages? I would not like him and his family to go unpunished especially because despite our repeated tries they are unresponsive and show no intention to restore this. 
In a mutual consent divorce proposal you  can always make some terms and conditions as dictates in your side, is he is not agreeing to it then you can initiate alternate legal actions as planned by you.




2.Will waiting for him to get a job first before filing and asking for damages be a good strategy - since his not earning status currently can go in his favour? (Thats how he seems to have planned for it). I am still earning and self sustainable in a sense. But I do not want that just because I am earning, the emotional and life damage he has caused to me goes unpunished. 
Basically you may not be eligible for maintenance amount from him for being employed and draw a handsome salary, however you can claim maintenance for your child. You do not have to wait for him to get an employment for that, if he has quit his job, it becomes his duty to maintain his daughter with some other means of income. 



3. Assuming I file in January 2016, when is the latest this case can get disposed in Mumbai?
This aspect cannot be predicted by mere lawyers, may be some astrologers can predict and give you an answer about the future. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13935 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. He is criminally not liable to be prosecuted for cheating as the meaning ascribed to cheating in common parlance is a far cry from what it is in legal parlance.

2. You can sue him for compensation by filing a case for domestic violence. Since he has treated you with cruelty and has abandoned his matrimonial duties he is liable to compensate you heavily. This apart, you may also claim maintenance from him.

3. You are also at liberty to file for divorce on the ground of cruelty. 

4. In mutual consent you cannot claim damages. You will only get what he agrees to give you.

5. As I said earlier, you can sue him for compensation to remedy the wrong done to you. In India the law of damages is not developed unlike in west, so you will get only peanuts in a damages suit.

6. Nobody can foretell when the case will be disposed. The earlier you file the earlier will be the disposal.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18061 Answers
446 Consultations
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1) your husband does not want to stay with you and wants an end to the marriage . 

2) file 498A case against your husband to bring your husband to the negotiating table 

3) in the alternative you can approach state women commission which you have already done 

4)state women commission can summon your husband conduct inquires . , seek report from police 

5) if you want to extract revenge on your husband file DV and 498A  case for continuous acts of cruelty, for dowry harassment 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23125 Answers
1214 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Q.1, May he waits for one year completion from the date of marriage to initiate process for filing divorce case against you on the grounds of mental cruelty.





Q. Based on your experience in legal field, does this seem like a closed case (that he indeed wants us to file for divorce) or is he only acting out of fear? I am asking this since once I go legal, there could be no way I could restore this relationship due to bad blood. 
Both of you have started taking defence steps to defend each other in the known or advised way towards the future litigation that both consider to file against each other, therefore wait and watch the development without interacting with him anymore.




Q. His repeated evasiveness and lack of any positivity has led me to firmly believe that since their expectations were not met, maybe he does not want to continue in this relationship. He never contacts or speaks to me or my family. But since I never had this in mind, I obviously was not in business of collecting proofs or recording etc unlike him. I feel extremely cheated that he so easily duped me and now I can't even prove that they all harassed me for money and this is the real reason behind his abandoning him. Instead he has gone out to the whole world alleging I abused and tortured him. Feel helpless.  
Actually your email giving the entire account of your helping him monetarily provoked him to react that way trying to defend himself before being offended or slapped with dowry harassment offences.  You may send a restitution notice if he remains unresponsive.




Q. Should dowry harassment cases always be accompanied with concrete proofs? In that case what about innocent girls who do not have this in mind while starting a new pious relationship- They would never have proofs so to say. 
No concrete proofs necessary for a complaint against the dowry harassment, mere complaint in writing will be sufficient for an investigation/inquiry by police who will submit their report accordingly.




Q. Is the women's commission correct in this? Should I seek their help for mediation once and if my terms are not agreed either for living together or separation, only then approach court for filing any criminal case?  Need suggestions based on your experience and good faith. 
State women welfare commission will be of much help to the destitute and hapless women. In such cases like yours they may extend help to certain extend but they cannot provide you the desired help, they cannot enforce any right, you may have to approach court of police seeking proper relief.





Q. Should I report this to the police and file a missing person complaint as well since I do not know where my husband is living for past 6 months? When should I do this - first file police complaint and then send legal notice for separation to his ancestral house address? He does respond occasionally to my father on email or phone call.
First  you send a legal notice to his last known address or in the probable address, if he is not responding or it is returned then you may approach police with man missing complaint.





Q. Does that mean for a working woman, anyone can simply marry her and spoil her life forever by abandoning her at will? That court will not grant her damages just because she is working. What about the damage done to her life and emotions, the uncertain personal future that comes with it. 
You can very well lodge complaint against him for dowry harassment, cheating and breach of trust. You can file DV case for violence and compensation for abandoning you after marrying you for the sake of extra dowry, seeking residential rights, seeking protection, you can file a civil case seeking compensation for the damages for the mental losses he  caused to you in the name of marriage and abandoning you without any reason. There are lot of legal avenues open before you, but they are to be identified and utilised properly through an experienced and skilled advocate.




Q. Please guide on the best strategy - step wise to ensure that if he is seriously not willing to work out this relationship and has done so for money/girlfriend etc, I am able to punish him sufficient. Such people will only spoil one more life if this it is so easy for men. (Marry for money - if not fulfilled - provoke and record and accuse of mental torture and abandon wife - remarry new girl - seems to be my story)
You may think on the above lines and plan your strategy accordingly.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13935 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1)your husband can file for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty

2)court will consider your  prior complaint made before women commission 

3)police during investigations will record your statement , your husband statement , of relatives if your husband demanded money from your family , your emails , chat conversations . police investigations will not go in his favour if you have evidence of continuous acts of cruelty and you have made out a case of dowry harassment 

4) dont send restitution notice 

5) you cannot file adultery case against your husband . if you have evidence you can file for divorce on grounds of adultery 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23125 Answers
1214 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. He is at liberty to file for divorce on the ground of mental cruelty. 498A filed by you subsequently will be a substantive case having no nexus with the divorce proceedings.

2. Phone recordings can be used in court as evidence. The police can base its findings on the call recording only if they attribute a criminality to you.

3. There is no legal requirement to issue a notice for restitution of conjugal rights. If you want him to resume his conjugal duties then you can file a petition to this effect in the court.

4. A case for adultery can be filed only if you have sufficient evidence to prove it. Collect the evidence through a detective agency before going to court, else you will risk being prosecuted for defamation. Police will not investigate. 
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18061 Answers
446 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. I have already filed a complaint with state women's commission for dowry harassment and abandonment. They are expected to send him a summon soon. Can he still file a case of mental cruelty in the court (on completion of 1 year of marriage) while the commission enquiry is pending?  If he can and does so, and I after that file a 498A on him - will that be considered only as a retaliatory/counter case, thus weakening my position or court will consider my complaint to women's commission? 
First of all understand that the state women welfare commission is different to court of law. A compliant before the commission will be inquired and investigated by them in accordance to the provisions and rules meant for them, they cannot exercise elaborate powers like court.  They may summon and do the investigation, but it cannot restrict him from approaching the court with divorce petition on the ground of cruelty, if he files one, you may challenge them appropriately as per law.  You have rights to lodge police complaint also for dowry harassment and cruelty.



2. He is trying to divert the attention away from the real issue to the fights that occurred because of the issue - and claim that as mental harassment. How does police investigation work - in the absence of any recordings with me in which he and his family asked for money under various pretexts (while he has recordings of our arguments), does that mean police investigation can go in his favour ? Apologies, if this is a silly question. I'm naive in legal world.
Let him do anything whatever he feels like, you can always challenge his moves in the court during trial.




3. In the end of my detailed email and in my repeated SMSes after that I have requested him again  & again to come & sit with his wife to discuss and visit a professional marriage counsellor with me. Do I still need to send him restitution notice?  
He has not responded to me though is asking my father separately to visit him in his city exactly on the day of 1 year completion. We do not trust his intentions since he may whip up another allegation after the meeting for his own case of cruelty.   
This step taken by you will not bar you from initiating legal notice asking him to take you back because this will create a platform for you to defend properly at a later stage against his false cases.



4. It has been brought to my notice by common friends that he has an external relationship in a different city where he visits and stays on weekends (probably his next prey for dowry). I am trying to find details through private agencies but its expensive. Can I file an adultery case?  If I do, whose onus is to prove ? Will police investigate and find out themselves or I need to give proof?
First of all understand the law about adultery.  You need to have substantial evidence to prove adultery. The provisions of IPC for this offence is reproduced below for your information:
497. Adultery.—Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13935 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1)agree for divorce by mutual consent 

2) husband knows that since you are working and highly qualified you wont get any maintenance 

3) you can file 498A for acts of cruelty . but 498A cases take between 5 to 10 years to be disposed of 

4) husband can obtain AB and contest case on merits 

5) you can file dowry harassment against brother in law only if you are victim of harassment from your brother in law . your husband has given cars to his brother in law out of his own free will . 

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23125 Answers
1214 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. He is not scared because he seems to have engaged a lawyer in advance for his defence including applying for his bail in the event you lodge the case against him.

2. It is not true that arrests are not made under 498A, but the courts are liberal than before in granting bail. You must have heard the story of the man who would raise a false alarm among the villagers by telling them that a wolf has entered the village, but none believed him when the wolf came for real. This is the case with 498A. Due to the wide scale misuse of this law by women the courts tend to view every story of 498A with suspicion. Be that as it may, he can be denied bail on merits of the case. You have the right to engage your own lawyer to contest his bail.

3. You can claim compensation for the domestic violence suffered by you at his hands even if you are disqualified to claim maintenance. 

4. If dowry violence has been committed by his brothers then you may launch their prosecution.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18061 Answers
446 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Q. Based on your experience, can you throw some light why he is not scared? Has 498a lost its teeth as is widely being reported with no arrests possible. Probably that is why he knows that we can't do much. Even if we file, he won't appear in court for ages and only we will be harassed?  Also my life will get spoilt. 
You have to lodge a complaint with the police with very strongly worded accusations narrating the grave injustice meted out to you.  The police will summon him and get his statement recorded and if FIR is registered, they may even arrest him.





. He is not working (has quit). Does not own any assets and is under debt. Although he had a handsome salary till 3 months back. I am working and well qualified. Is that also why he is relaxed because he won't even have to pay any alimony? In case of MCD too, he will offer very less or nothing. Coz his family has anyways started repeatedly saying that they spent so much on the wedding (far lesser than us-but to build a case for no payment) 
Even if he is not employed, he has to arrange for amount to pay for maintenance if ordered by court.  However he may escape the liability stating that you are employed hence you are not eligible for maintenance.





Q. His brother-in-laws have recently taken bigger cars from him. Can I file a dowry harassment case against his brother-in-laws too stating that they harassed my husband for giving them cars & my husband gave dowry while he does not take care of his wife at all?  Idea being to punish him hard. When his sisters go through the same situation as me, maybe he will realise spoiling a life for money needs is bad.
You can file dowry harassment case but not on the grounds what you have stated because it is irrelevant to your case.


T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13935 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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