Q: My wife and I have been living separately for the past 27 years. She has been receiving a maintenance amount of Rs 4,000 a month under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Recently, she filed a petition under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005, and sought relief under Sections 18, 19, 20 and 21, falsely accusing me of incidents that supposedly occurred before 2005. Is this parallel proceeding maintainable? She had never earlier filed any petition under the PWDVA or Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. What steps should I take now?
Mantu Ghosh, Khardah, West Bengal
A: Proceedings under Section 125 of the CrPC and those under the PWDVA can take place simultaneously. However, maintenance and interim alimony amounts awarded under Section 125 of the CrPC are adjustable against the amount awarded under the PWDVA. You may note that various Supreme Court judgments have held that the Domestic Violence Act is retrospective in operation, and alleged acts of violence committed before it came into force can be taken into consideration. You may therefore contest the case or come to an amicable settlement with your wife.
Q:We had booked a flat and a covered car park in a housing complex in Calcutta. The promoter had given us the possession letters for both. But now he says that he has oversold the covered car park and can only offer an open one, along with a compensation of Rs 50,000. What legal action can we take against the promoter?
Vishal Grover, via email
A: In situations such as this the promoter may be held liable for deficiency of services. You could file a complaint before the consumer forum or court for specific performance of the agreement of sale made between you and the promoter. You can also claim compensation. However, before filing a complaint, you need to send a legal notice to the promoter addressing your objections and grievances and putting on record whatever the promoter has told you verbally. A reply from the promoter would further strengthen the documentation required to file for your case.