I’m being harassed by my in-laws

Harassed Woman

Q: My marriage is in trouble. I got married in January and now have a baby girl. From the beginning my mother-in-law has been troubling me. She mentally harasses me, curses me, abuses me and treats me like her slave and interferes between my husband and me. She has turned him against me. My husband now doesn’t want to meet my family at all and doesn’t respect them. He also drinks, which is very hard for me to accept, as I’m Muslim and it isn’t permitted in our religion. My husband never listens to me and believes his mother’s false stories and fights with me. I’m at my mother’s home and asked my husband to live separately with me because it’s very hard for me to stay with my mother-in-law. He doesn’t want separation and wants me to suffer in the same atmosphere or take divorce and live with my family. 

I’ve tried a lot to make things good with my mother-in-law and I always obey her, but she doesn’t want us to live together as she wants a good dowry from my family and my parents didn’t fulfill their demands. 

Earlier my husband was caring and loved me, but now he doesn’t even care about his daughter (they want a son). He doesn’t respect me and insults me for even small things, specially for not giving dowry. Now my in-laws have filed a false court case against me, that I came back home without informing them. Please advise me what to do.

A: There are three recourses available under the law as per the facts and situation given by the reader.

(i) If the reader wants to take divorce from her husband then the reader will have to file a divorce petition before the Concerned Family Court under the Special Marriage Act along with an application for the custody of the minor child. Further, there has to be a substantial defence in the case which is filed against the reader.

(ii) The reader can also file a complaint under the Domestic Violence Act praying for the rights of compensation as well as the rights pertaining to equal residence.

(iii) The reader can also file an FIR against the husband and the in-laws under the Indian Penal Code for the offences punishable u/s. 498A and allied offences. The reader can further invoke the dowry prohibition act if any illegal demand has been placed before the reader.

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