Can Financial Deprivation amount to economic abuse under the Domestic Violence act?

The term economic abuse falls under the purview of domestic violence as provided in section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act. In the case decided by the Bombay High Court of Sapna Patel vs Ishwarbhai Patel and others, the Court upheld the decision of the first class magistrate.

In the following case, the deceased husband earned his source of income from the jointly held family property : Patel Mangal Karyalaya. After the death of the husband, the aggrieved wife and the son who had no other sources of income were financially deprived. The above mentioned property was taken and run by the brother Pravin Patel.

This amounted to economic deprivation and the Court ordered the restoration of the above property to the wife. The order of maintenance was rejected.

The court held that:

“In the present case, the applicant was having only source of income from Patel Mangal Karyalaya during the lifetime of her husband. After the death of her husband, respondent No.1 took over the possession of said Patel Mangal Karyalaya and deprived the applicant from financial resources from Patel Mangal Karyalaya. Therefore, it amounts to economic abuse.”

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