I am (Aged 28 years) working for a reputed private organization in Chennai. I secured the job with lot of difficulties and struggle in the initial years of my career. My father is running a small business and my mother is a homemaker. I have a younger sister (unmarried) who is working for another reputed private organization in Chennai after her graduation. My wife (Aged 17 years) failed in her Class 10th exam. I was disguised of her actual age and educational qualification at the time of our marriage. I was told that my wife was aged 20 years and has completed B.Com. We got married on 16th Apr 2009. It was an arranged marriage. We got this alliance through our matrimony ad in the local news paper.
My father-in-law (FIL) is a cine director & producer in Chennai. My mother-in-law (MIL) happens to be the second wife of my FIL. My FIL’s first wife is still alive and they have 1 son and 2 daughters who are also residing in Chennai.
About my MIL, she is basically from Madurai and has an elder brother and elder sister. MIL’s brother resides in Madurai whereas my MIL resides in Chennai with her mother in the same house. There is a stranger who is also living with them in the same house who was introduced to us as my MIL’s father’s younger brother. Later, we discovered that he has no legitimate relationship with my in-laws family but has some dirty connection with my MIL’s mother.
Apparently, MIL was already married to another person and my wife was born for my MIL and her first husband. This was not told to me before marriage. It appears that my MIL’s first marriage was not successful and she remarried my FIL and have a son who is born for them.
My MIL’s elder sister who was married to a person in Madurai, does not live with him as her marriage was also not successful. Inevitably she is also residing in Chennai just 10 blocks away from my MIL’s house.
Since the day of our engagement (12th Feb 2009), my parents were ignored by my MIL, her mom, brother & sister. They had no respect for my parents and relatives. As they are wealthy people with lot of political influence, they fought with us and threatened my family for even trivial matters and my marriage was the result of all the compromises that I and my family had to make.
After marriage, my parents and other relatives were kept totally aside. My patience and silence was only making the situation fatal. My wife was only 16 at the time of our marriage. She was religiously following every single instruction given by her family members as she was too immature to take any decisions on her own. Had to experience too much of interference my MIL, her mom, sister & brother in my marital affairs.
My wife was misguided and was not giving any respect to my parents. She was not showing any interest to get involved in the household activities/marital responsibilities. After I leave to office, she gets inside our bed room and spends most of the time talking to her family members through mobile phone. She was making very frequent visits to her mom’s house. All my effort to make behavioural changes in my wife went in vain because of the interference from her family members. Every time I tried to resist their interference in my marital affairs which was to be decided by me, I was threatened by my MIL’s brother.
With persisting troubles in life, I once decided (in Sep 09) to take up the issues to my FIL’s notice as I did not see his involvement in all that was happening in the family. I met him in his office and explained him everything that has happened from engagement till the last incident. He acknowledged the justice on my part and assured that he would help me in overcoming the prevailing disputes. He said he would arrange for a meeting between both the families. I was asked to go with my parents to his office a week after our first meeting and I did. My MIL was not part of that meeting. Instead, her sister, brother and the stranger from her house was present along with my wife and FIL. Within few minutes of our meeting, there was a disagreement and my MIL’s sister started using foul language against me and my parents. Suddenly, my MIL’s brother came to hit me. My FIL intervened and asked me and my family to leave.
Later I heard from my wife that her father said that he would not involve himself again in this matter if his family members do not listen to him. My wife also said that there was a fight amongst the family members in her family and they parted. Finally, on the same night my wife returned to our house. I did not have any interaction with my in-laws family for around 3 months from the last meeting. After 3 months (in Dec 09), my wife tried convincing me that her mother has realized all her mistakes and she wants a reunion with my family. I convinced my parents and my MIL came to our house. We did not speak about the past and there was some happiness in our reunion.
Even after the reunion, I did not have any interaction with my MIL’s mom, brother and sister. In Mar 10, I and my wife planned for a trip to Sikkim with my MIL, FIL, my wife’s younger brother and the stranger from their family. We left Chennai on 6th Mar and returned on 14th Mar 2010. After coming back, my wife started telling that my MIL’s mom, sister and brother also realized their mistakes and they also wanted a reunion with my family. I was not ready for that as my MIL’s sister used foul language against me and my family and her brother came to hit me. She was upset after that and had a small fight with me.
On 21st Mar 2010 she said she wanted to go and meet her mom. That day I saw the girl in my wife whom I saw about 6 months back. My MIL came to our house on 22nd Mar 2010 and took my wife from our residence when I was not at home. While leaving, my wife took the bank locker key where all her jewelleries are kept. On 24th Mar 2010, my MIL called my mom and started telling bad things about me and our family. Also, my wife spoke to my mother and said that she is no longer interested to live with me and she was prepared to go to any extent and face anything. On 28th Mar 2010, my wife along with all her family members (except my FIL), came to our residence and started abusing me and my family standing on our street. They started telling to our neighbours that we demanded dowry and tortured their daughter. With their tears they even convinced some of our neighbours to believe their words. I called the police and they came.
Police tried to settle things amicably. As there was no co-operation from my wife and her family, police asked them to leave from our residence without making further problem and we were asked to go to the “All Women” police station in our locality. One of our neighbours suggested that we first meet a lawyer and then go to the police station with a lawyer. As it was already late evening on Sunday, we thought to meet a lawyer on Monday (29th Mar 2010). Meanwhile, our relatives suggested that we do not spend the night in our residence as my MIL and her family members threatened us that our lives would be destroyed on that very night.
We spent the Sunday night (28th Mar 10) in one of our relative’s house and spoke to a lawyer on Monday. He asked us to meet him in the evening at his office. Meanwhile, we came to know from one of the residents in our apartment that my in-laws family brought a police to our flats in search of us. When we met our lawyer in the evening and explained him what had happened, he advised us to apply for an anticipatory bail and go for a short tour to have a peace of mind. He said he would get the AB by the time we return and we did according to our lawyer’s advice.
On Tuesday (30th Mar 10) at around 5 AM, my wife (my beloved bitter half) and in-laws went to my maternal grandparents house with police in search of us. As they did not find us there, they asked my grandfather to go to police station and they immediately went to my uncle’s (mother’s elder brother) house to see if we are hiding there. Neither did they find us in my uncle’s house. They took my uncle along with them so early in the morning and detained him along with my grandfather who is close to 80 years of age for 3 days. Though they were not kept in lock up, they were made to sit on a bench in the police station from morning till late evening. Inspector of the all women police station verbally abused my grandfather and uncle and treated them very badly. All these were done in presence of my in-laws family.
On 1st Apr 2010, our petition for AB came for hearing. Obviously, my cunning in-laws had already engaged a lawyer from their side and made an intervening petition to deny our AB. Our lawyer then argued and took an undertaking of “No Arrest”. We went to the all women police station with the court order and made an attempt to explain what had happened to the inspector. As advised by our lawyer, I informed the inspector that I was willing to live with my wife. Inspector wrote my statement in a piece of paper and made me sign which was sent to the court.
On the second hearing of our AB petition, Judge directed us to Mediation and Conciliation centre to resolve the marital disputes and he also ordered interim AB. We had one counselling session and explained the problem. Case is now pending at the Conciliation centre. As the court is closed in May month, both the families have been asked to provide their terms in the meanwhile.
We have submitted our draft terms that has the following points
1. Both parties agree to withdraw all allegations and counter allegations unconditionally.
2. Listed down the articles (given by the bride’s family) lying at the matrimonial home and made a clause that other than the listed ones, there are no other material, money or any valuables that belongs to the bride is lying at the matrimonial home.
3. Both the parties agree to set up a separate marital home near the place of employment of the husband.
4. There shall not be any interference from both the families in the marital affairs of the couples.
5. If any material of value given by both the families to be recorded and duly signed by both the parties. Record of the same to be retained by both the parties.
Planning to include the two additional clauses mentioned below
1. Both parties agree that there was no demand for dowry both before and after marriage.
2. Both parties agree that the girl (my wife) was never ill treated by her husband or in-laws.
They have not provided their terms yet. Our next meeting at the conciliation centre is on 10th Jun 2010.
1. There was no demand from our side. We said we would offer 25 sovereigns of gold (200 gms) jewellery to the bride. They said they would offer 85 sovereigns of gold (680 gms) jewellery to the bride and 15 sovereigns of gold (120 gms) jewellery to the groom.
2. We did not have a car at the time of marriage and MIL suggested that we offer only 15 sovereigns of gold and buy a second hand car with the remaining cash and we agreed.
3. We eventually bought 17 sovereigns of gold jewellery and offered everything to the bride on the day of our engagement itself. Whereas, whatever gold jewellery that my in-laws promised was not offered even months after the marriage.
4. Finally, in the month of Dec 2010, they showed us the jewels that they had bought for my wife and on the same day all the jewels were kept in the bank locker which is in the name of my MIL but operated by my wife.
5. While leaving from our home on 22nd Mar 10, wife took the bank locker key where all her jewelleries are kept.
Please guide me about the steps consequences if the conciliation fails.