When someone is wronged by another, he/she seeks legal recourse. And that is true even if the wrong is having an extra-marital affair with a married person, as evidenced by the following case.
Dr. Ranjita Achom, a 41-year-old assistant professor at Imphal’s Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) married her husband, Dr. Konsam Shyamsunder Singh, an IAS officer, in 2009 and has 3 children with him.
According to The Hindu, she filed a case in a Manipur court against her husband and his 33-year-old live-in partner, Ms.Yambem Puni. She sought Rs.10 crore in damages for “loss of consortium and mental agony” caused by their “illicit” relationship.
When the case was heard on September 13, Dr. Singh confessed to his “illicit” relationship but Ms. Puni sought the status of his “second wife” as they had completed a “Loukhatpa ceremony” (locally recognized marriage/acceptance ceremony) in 2016.
According to The New Indian Express, the court observed that Ms.Puni can’t be considered as “the second wife” under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 and said,
“Live-in relationship with a married person amounts to intentionally alienating one spouse from the other – it is an important tort – wife, and children of the married party can sue the other party to relationship for damages.”
On October 18, Judge Y. Somorjit Singh ordered Ms.Puni to pay Rs.70 lakh to the legal wife, Dr.Achom – Rs.10 lakh for “causing mental distress”; another Rs.10 lakh for “lowering the reputation of the legal wife in the eyes of the society”, and Rs.50 lakh for “punitive or exemplary damages.”
Do you think this was the right decision or should the husband have been made liable to pay damages as well?