The Calcutta High Court in the recent case of Nandita Sarkar vs. Tilak Sarkar ruled that depriving a lady of her Stridhan or the other monetary or economic resources she is given the right to, would result in violence as per the Prevention of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDV Act). Stridhan means gifts/ presents given to a lady voluntarily by her family in her wedding.
The Single-judge bench of Justice Subhendu Samanta held the PWDV Act 'economic abuse' within its ambit. In the present case, a widow was seeking monetary relief from her in-laws after her husband expired on 29th October, 2010.
The deprivation of petitioner to any economic or monetary resources that the effected person is enabled according to law is domestic violence. In the present case, it's the actual fact that the petitioner was underprivileged from the articles given to her under Stridhan that were in the custody of the opposite party. This amounts to domestic violence.
Thus, the Court nullified the order passed in a Sessions Court in Calcutta in which the court had put aside the order of an adjudicator granting compensation and different financial advantages to a widow against the family of her in-laws. She was asked to leave her matrimonial house after the death of her husband and accused her in-laws of not giving her Stridhan. Also, she was subjected to cruelty before the death of her husband. Her in-laws contended her that she left the house herself.
Later, the widow seeked compensation and different financial reliefs according to the PWDV Act and filed suit which was allowed but quashed by Sessions court. The court observed two probable explanations for the widow leaving her husband’s home-
First, that the widow felt devastated and lonely after her husband’s death and so went to her home for peace and comfort. Second, the lady was not well or in good terms with her in-laws. The High court while quashing the Sessions judge’s decision considered that injustice was committed in dealing with her whole case. The bench also noted that the widow failed to have any income of her own and there were no merits in the case of her in-laws.
Thus, the High court considered the case of the widow and quashed the decision of Sessions Court Judge.
Refer to the Order for futher details.