While ousting an abusive husband from his house, the Madras High Court held that if removing the husband from the house alone ensures domestic peace, courts should pass such orders regardless of whether or not he has alternative accommodation. [V Anusha v. B Krishnan]
Justice RN Manjula said that courts should not be indifferent to women who fear the presence of their husband in the house.
“If the removal of the husband from home alone 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 an other accommodation of his own. If he has an alternate accommodation, it is fine but if he does not then it is upto him to secure an alternate accommodation.”
The judge held that orders passed to protect women in domestic violence cases should be practical and workable.
“Allowing the husband to be at the same home, but directing him that he should not disturb the other inmates of the home is something impractical. A relief for a person who fears about an impending atom bomb, would be just to remove the bomb from his/her vicinity,” the Bench observed.
It was further emphasised that protection orders are usually passed to ensure that the woman feels protected within her domestic sphere.
“When a woman fears the presence of her husband and screams, the Courts cannot be indifferent by just directing the husband that he should not harass the wife, but by allowing him to reside in the same house,” it was underscored.
The Court was hearing a plea filed by a wife challenging orders of a district judge, who refused to pass orders asking her “abusive and unruly” husband to leave their shared household.
The woman, an advocate by profession, pointed out that her husband’s attitude towards her and her work wasn’t good, and that he often indulged in abusing her and creating a tense atmosphere at the house.
The husband, on the other hand, maintained that an ideal mother would only look after the children at the house and do household chores.
This contention didn’t go down well with the Court, which observed that if the husband doesn’t allow a wife to be something more than just a housewife, then her life becomes horrible.
“If a woman chooses to be independent and do something more than being a housewife and if it is not taken well by her husband, that makes her life horrible by having its repercussion over her personal, familial and professional spheres…Due to lack of understanding and respect for the professional commitments of the wife, the husband developed a hostile attitude towards her. His intolerance seems to be creating squabbles and troubles in the life of the parties,” the order stated.
It was also noted that the husband had attributed bias against another judge of the High Court who had passed an order in the case, owing to which suo motu contempt proceedings were initiated against him.
The Bench went on to record that the constant abusive behaviour and attitude of the husband would only disturb their children aged 10 and 6.
“It is not unusual for couples to live under same roof despite their marriage lost its charm. They may even turn east and west but still try to manage to live in the same house. So long as their conduct does not hurt the family peace, but only their personal relationship, there is no harm in allowing the parties to live in a same house until a logical end is given to their marriage.
But it is a completely different scenario if one party unfurls unruly and aggressive attitude. In such an unreasonably adverse situation, the wife and her children can not be compelled to live under constant fear and insecurity,” the judge held.
Moreover, it opined that if domestic peace is disturbed due to the unruly acts of the husband, courts need not hesitate in giving practical effect to a protection order by removing the husband from the house.
With these observations, the Court directed the husband to leave the shared household within a period of two weeks. Liberty was also given to the wife to seek police protection if the husband failed to comply with this order.
Advocate SP Arthi appeared for the wife while the husband was represented by Advocate D Suresh Kumar.