NRI Makes Peace Offer of Rs 31.6 Lakh to Estranged Wife
The Indian American is willing to pay the amount to settle a dowry harassment case lodged against him by his wife.
A Non-resident Indian from the United States offered a sum of Rs 31.60 lakh to his estranged wife to settle a dowry harassment case in the Bombay High Court. During a hearing on Nov. 16, he also offered to return to her the silverware and her personal belongings that are now at his house in the United States.
The NRI was charged for dowry and harassment by his wife, who lodged the case in Pune, and faced a lookout notice.
Earlier this year, an FIR was lodged by the woman against her husband and mother-in law at Dattawadi police station for dowry harassment and assault under various provisions of the Indian penal code. While her husband was in America, her mother-in-law was in Oman. Lookout notices for both of them were issued by the Bureau of Immigration.
They then approached the Bombay High Court to seek relief, where their lawyer said that a settlement was being worked out.
Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code stipulates that if the husband or the relatives of the husband of a woman subject her to cruelty, they can be punished with imprisonment up to three years and can also be asked to pay a fine.
“Since the parties are exploring possibility of settlement, he is permitted to deposit the said settlement amount in the registry. This amount, however, shall not be withdrawn by the wife until disposal of present petitions as well as proceedings before the family court for divorce,” announced the division bench comprising Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi. It also said, “It is made clear that, in the event settlement does not go through, the man is at liberty to apply for withdrawal of the said amount.”
He was granted interim relief, and the division bench gave a direction to stay the lookout notices that were issued to airports in the country. It also restrained the investigating officer from taking any strong steps.
Earlier this year, a committee formed by the Ministry of External Affairs had submitted recommendations that said that NRIs who harassed or deserted their wives could face cancellation or impounding of their passports.