Q: I had filed a case of domestic violence against my husband under Section 156(3) in 2006. Eventually, the police reported to the court that my husband was absconding. I have recently learnt that the police had chargesheeted my husband in 2006 although he still remains at large. What can I do to bring the case to a close and make sure that he gets arrested and convicted? Can he sell any property in his name while being charged under this section?
Syamali Nandi, Calcutta
A: It appears that your case is registered under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code coupled with the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA). The latter is only preventive in nature and does not have any provision for punishment in respect of earlier wrongdoings. One can only seek financial compensation, residential orders, custody orders and protection orders to prevent further acts of domestic violence. But although the provisions of the PWDVA are civil in nature, if any order is violated by the respondent, he might be prosecuted with imprisonment and a fine. You may file a petition before the concerned court seeking disposal of the case after an ex parte hearing. You may also file a petition for an interim order directing the respondent not to alienate or transfer his properties till further orders.
Q: We leased our land to the Indian Oil Co. Ltd to run a petrol pump. They appointed a dealer of petroleum products. According to the lease agreement, the company can use this land only for the sale of petroleum products. However, some other occupants are also running businesses like a garage, a transport office and a dhaba on the land. We complained to the IOC, which sent us a letter last April acknowledging the illegal occupation and assuring suitable action. But till date no action has been taken. My mother and I are the joint owners of the land. What can we do now?
Amrit Ghosh, Serampore, West Bengal
A: Lodge a complaint with the concerned local police station apprising them of the situation and requesting them to start criminal proceedings against the trespassers. Your mother and you could also send legal notices to them directing them to vacate the premises. If they do not comply, you can file a civil suit of eviction against them.