Q: For the last few years my wife has been torturing me mentally and physically. Whenever I talk of divorce she threatens to file a case against me under Section 498A of the IPC. What should I do?
A: You cannot prevent your wife from filing a case against you. She can do this even if you do not file for divorce. Similarly, you can also file a divorce suit against her on grounds of cruelty in spite of her threats. This would also help you to contest any criminal case that your wife may file against you. That apart, you can lodge a general diary at the local police station, apprising them about your wife’s misbehaviour. This will help you contest her allegations.
Q:We are four brothers. Our father registered a house in the names of three of us without giving our eldest brother anything. Later, this brother forcefully entered the house and staked his claim. He then went abroad leaving his wife behind, who is not moving out despite several requests. How can we oust her?
T. Alam, Katihar, Bihar
A: Prima facie it appears that your sister-in-law is living in a shared household as a member of a joint family. It would be difficult to oust her by filing an eviction suit. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, entitles a woman living in a shared household to secure housing and also protection orders from any kind of domestic violence, irrespective of whether she has any title or rights in such a household.
Q:I had purchased and duly registered a piece of land in Visakhapatnam in 1997. Recently I learnt that it has been sold again by the previous owner’s wife. The owner himself is dead. What should I do now?
Ramesh Arya, via email
A: You should conduct a search at the property registration office, and acquire all relevant documents that prove fraud as also those ascertaining your ownership. Then through the police, institute a criminal case of fraud, cheating or criminal trespass, if any, against the previous owner’s wife and the purported owner. Also, send legal notices to both. If you do not have possession of the property, file a civil suit for declaration of the second sale as void, as well as recovery of possession, making the purported owner and the transferee defendants. Damages can also be claimed.