Equal right to wife, mistress, rules court

April 8th, 2008 - 11:17 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) The law protects not only the wife but also the mistress or live-in partner under the domestic violence act, the Delhi High Court ruled Tuesday. “We find no reason why equal treatment should not be accorded to a wife as well as a woman who has been living with a man as his common-law wife or even as a mistress,” a bench comprising Justices Vikramjit Sen and P.K. Bhasin said.

The ruling comes in the wake of a petition filed by a man for quashing criminal proceedings against him on a complaint filed by his live-in partner.

Rejecting the man’s plea, the court said that in a case of a woman having live-in relationship with a man, it could be fairly assumed that the relationship was initiated by the man.

“Like treatment to both (wives and mistress) does not, in any manner, derogate from the sanctity of marriage since an assumption can fairly be drawn that a live-in relationship is invariably initiated and perpetuated by the male,” the bench said.

They said that in dealing with such cases “the court should also not be impervious to social stigma which always sticks to the women and not to the men”.

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