CHENNAI: Any woman residing in India either temporarily or permanently is entitled to seek relief from a court of law under the Domestic Violence Act even if her spouse lives outside the country, the Madras high court said Wednesday. Justice S M Subramaniam issued the order while dismissing a petition filed by a US citizen, challenging a domestic violence complaint filed by his wife against him in a Chennai family court. “The cause of action arises in India since the aggrieved person is residing here, even if abused economically by the spouse residing in another country,” he said.
The judge refused to accept the husband’s contention that his wife’s complaint should be quashed as a court in the US had already passed an ex parte decree on a divorce petition filed by him and given him custody of their 15-year-old twins.
“Recognition of decrees and orders passed by foreign courts remains an eternal dilemma inasmuch as, whenever called upon to do so, courts in this country are bound to determine the validity of such decrees and orders keeping in view the provisions of the CPC,” Justice Subramaniam said.”Foreign courts taking a particular view on any aspect concerning the welfare of a minor is not enough for the courts in this country to shut out an independent consideration of the matter.”
Referring to a division bench of the same court giving custody of the children to the father, Justice Subramaniam said, “Forcible handing over of the children to their father would result in psychological disadvantages, and the minor boys may not be in a position to have peaceful life in the absence of their mother.”
The judge said due consideration must be given to the children since they were “mature minors” and gave the mother interim custody.