Mr. Rebates

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Court vents its ire on a lying spouse She Lied About Job,Wanted More Alimony

New Delhi: While the Hindu Marriage Act ensures women get maintenance from their spouses,a district court has said the provision cannot be used as a tool by a spouse to get enriched unjustly at the expense of the other spouse.

The courts remarks came as it rejected straightaway the plea of a woman seeking maintenance of Rs 15,000 a month for herself and Rs 8,000 for her minor child from her estranged husband.Reena (name changed) moved the court claiming that her husband,a government employee,was earning nearly Rs 50,000 a month and that her job as a temporary teacher in a nursery school did not pay her enough to take care of both herself and her child.

What she did not tell the court was that she was also working as an agent in an insurance company.That fact emerged after her husband,through counsel Prashant Mendiratta,disclosed that she had been working as an insurance agent for a firm which paid her Rs 45,000 a month.

Countering the allegations,the woman told the court that she had been an insurance agent but that she had left her job in January,2010.Irked by the woman concealing facts about her job,the court lambasted her for not coming clean before it.

Details of her job as well as details of income from all sources have to filed before the court.If it is found the applicant has concealed the true nature of her job,the application becomes liable to be dismissed straightaway... this section cannot be permitted to be used as a tool to get enriched unjustly at the expense of the other spouse, said the additional district judge.

Calling the womans claim that she had quit her job an eyewash,the court said her response was fabricated to mislead it and to counter her husbands allegation.The court also refused to revise the Rs 2,500 a month maintenance granted by a metropolitan magistrate to her child,saying it was proper considering the childs mother was also earning.

HC: Domestic Violence Act can be used with retrospective effect

 Mar 23, 2010, 

NEW DELHI: In an important ruling, the Delhi high court has clarified that the Domestic Violence Act has a retrospective effect. This means it can be invoked even by women who were subjected to domestic violence before the Act came into force in October 2006.

Justice V K Jain, while dealing with a complaint filed under the Domestic Violence Act, said the Act was maintainable ‘‘even if the domestic violence has been committed prior to coming into force of the Act.’’'

Setting aside the order by a lower court, justice Jain further observed, ‘‘The court needs to eschew from taking an interpretation which would not only be violative of constitutional rights but would also result in denying the benefit of the beneficial provisions of the Act to the women who have been subjected to domestic violence and are compelled to live separately on account of a man’s acts of omission or commission. Such an interpretation would at least partially defeat the legislative intent behind enactment of this Act, which was to protect women against domestic violence, to give them compensation and other suitable reliefs.’’

HC was hearing a petition filed by a woman appealing against the order of a lower court. The petitioner alleged she was forced to leave the matrimonial home because of her husband’s behaviour. While the magistrate allowed her plea and granted maintenance of Rs 6,000 per month to her, the husband appealed against it. A court held that the victim was not entitled to any relief under the DV Act because she had left the matrimonial home in 2005 while the Act came into force a year later.

 The Full Judgement here:

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

NCW hit with backlog, money woes

New Delhi: The audit report of the National Commission for Women (NCW) has revealed that all’s not well with the commission.

Of 12,895 complaints that came to NCW between 2008-09, onlylittle over half (7,50-9) were addressed. Of these, only 14% could be disposed of.

Out of the 22 NGOs or individuals that were given grants worth Rs 22 lakh for research projects, 15 have notsubmitted an interim report.

Mandatory requirements like jail visits to assess living conditions of women have not been made for the past 4 years.

These observations, made by the Comptroller & Auditor General’s (CAG) inspection report, indicate the malaise that has crept into the NCW. The inspection found that of the 12,895 cases, 7,509 were taken up. Of these, only 1,077 were disposed of.

Admitting that the commission was battling a huge backlog of cases, NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said, “The rate of disposal is low because of several reasons. We lack trained manpower and resources. We are at present managing with a small staff whereas the number of complaints has been steadily increasing. Several of the complaints that come to us are being fought in court. We cannot send people away on the plea that the matter is subjudice. But I am concerned about the large number of cases and have demanded additional trained manpower.”

Another major lapse pointed out by the audit report is that no jail visit — as mandated under the NCW Act — was made between 2006-2007 to 2008-2009. Also, grants amounting to Rs 23.30 lakh were made to 22 NGOs/individuals between 2005-2006 and 2008-2009. Of these 22 cases, even the interim report was not received in 15 cases after a lapse of 5 to 30 months.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Live-in couple splits. Is man liable to pay for kid’s upkeep?

  Mar 25, 2010,
NEW DELHI: After throwing its weight behind live-in relationships saying there is no illegality if two adults live together, the Supreme Court is facing a difficult emotional fallout of it.

What if two adults decide to live together in a foreign country, share an apartment and have a child and when they come back, the man goes away saying he had no formal relationship with the woman and hence was not liable to her and the child’s maintenance?

This question has cropped up before the Supreme Court, which has stayed proceedings initiated by a woman under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code in Gujarat. But realising the sensitivity of the issues involved, it posted the case for hearing on May 7.

The case is between Japmandeep and Rajshri. He went to London on a student visa in March 2003 to do post-graduation in information technology from London College of Management and IT. There he met Rajshri, who was pursuing her masters in IT since October 2002. According to Japmandeep, “they became friends and in October 2003 started sharing the same apartment”.

“We shared an apartment in UK, but no religious ceremony for performing marriage took place in London nor did we register any civil partnership as is required under the law of UK. As per UK law, no relationship between the parties exist unless the formalities required under the law of UK are complied with,” Japmandeep said in his petition before the SC seeking quashing of the proceedings initiated by his erstwhile live-in partner.

But there was not a word by the man that a child was born to them in 2005 in UK. After staying the proceedings, the SC issued notice to Rajshri, who in her response submitted documents, including the birth certificate of the child from UK.

The birth certificate showed that the child was born to Japmandeep Singh Ahluwalia and Rajshri Ahluwalia on November 9, 2005, at Wexham Park Hospital, Slough. A copy of the passport annexed to the reply filed in the SC through lawyer H A Raichura also gave identical description of the child’s parents.

To falsify Rajshri’s claim that she was married to him, Japmandeep stated in his petition filed through counsel J S Chhabra that she on October 10, 2006, had made a complaint about domestic violence and rape against him to UK authorities. “However, on December 8, 2006, the complainant withdrew all the allegations levelled against him and signed a statutory declaration in the form of an affidavit before the oath commissioner in England that all the allegations regarding domestic violence, rape and dowry were false and untrue,” Japmandeep said.

But after they reached India on August 29, 2008, Rajshri left for her home in Gujarat and Japmandeep went to Patiala, where his parents lived. “All the communication which have taken place in the year 2008, between Rajshri and Department of Home Office, UK, she was addressed as Rajshri Ben Vijay Kumar Kesri and Japmandeep was addressed as her partner and not her husband,” he said in his defence.

Rajshri initiated proceedings under Section 498A at Patiala and Ahmedabad, and both have been stayed by higher courts — one by Punjab and Haryana HC and the other by SC. However, Rajshri in her response to the apex court expressed willingness to compromise with Japmandeep allowing him to contract fresh marriage provided he returns the money, ornaments and certificates he owed to her, the 4-year-old son remains with her and pays a lumpsum amount to her for maintenance.

Crisis of merit in lower judiciary

 Mar 25, 2010,

NEW DELHI: Judiciary faces a crisis of merit at a crucial layer as majority of the states are finding it difficult to fill 25% of district judge posts through a limited departmental examination that was devised to give talent a speedy promotion route.

This became clear before the Supreme Court on Tuesday as senior advocate Vijay Hansaria as amicus curiae pointed to the large number of vacancies in district judge posts, which is the highest level in the lower judiciary responsible for fighting the huge pendency of nearly 2.6 crore cases.

The large number of posts falling under the cadre of Higher Judicial Service was mainly vacant due to failure of existing judicial officers to clear the tough departmental competitive test. The situation is so bad that in Tripura, eight posts were advertised under the speedy promotional route but only two candidates applied, Hansaria said.

Taking up an application filed by Rajasthan Judicial Service Officers’ Association through counsel A D N Rao, a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan said this was the situation in almost all states.

Rao gave a chart of the vacancies under 25% quota for speedy promotion through competitive examination. It said West Bengal had 50 vacancies, Uttar Pradesh 24, Maharashtra 42 and Orissa 12. The apex court had noticed on January 13 that in Bihar, though 16 posts were available, the HC could fill only two.

The bench issued notice to high courts for their response to the proposal — fill the existing vacancies through promotion based on seniority and reduce the competitive examination quota from 25% to 5%.

At present, 50% of posts of district judge are filled through promotion, 25% through direct recruitment from lawyers and 25% through limited departmental examination. Though the bench felt 25% posts through departmental examination could be filled through an all-India competitive examination, it veered around to the idea of reducing the quota.

The HCs have been asked to send their responses to the apex court before April 20, when the matter will be taken up for hearing afresh.