first_imgA court in Manipur capital Imphal has ordered a woman to pay ₹70 lakh as compensation to the legal wife of a man with whom she has been living.The court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) in Imphal East district had on September 13 heard the case of Ranjita Achom, and her three children against her husband Konsam Shyamsunder Singh – an IAS officer – and his partner Yambem Puni.Judge Y. Somorjit Singh ordered the compensation under tort law on October 18 in three parts – ₹10 lakh as special damages for causing loss of consortium, nervous shock and mental distress to Dr. Achom from June 2016; ₹10 lakh for lowering her reputation in the eyes of society; and ₹50 lakh as “punitive or exemplary damages”.A tort is a civil wrong that makes a claimant suffer loss or harm, resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act. It can include the intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, financial losses, injuries and invasion of privacy.Dr. Achom, 41, had appealed to the court against “intentional tort” by 33-year-old Ms. Puni for maintaining an “illicit” relationship with her lawful husband, Dr. Singh, thereby causing “untold distress”.Dr. Achom is an assistant professor at Imphal’s Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) while her 40-year-old husband is an administrative officer in the Manipur government. They got married in 2009.The court order describes Ms. Puni as a renowned model serving as Panchayat Secretary in the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department. It noted that Mr. Singh was extending “warmest welcome, reception, hospitality, companion, friendship and personal service” to Ms. Puni since 2016 despite the latter knowing that he was the JNIMS doctor’s legal husband and a father of three children.Ms. Puni submitted through her counsel that she is Dr. Singh’s second wife. But the court observed that she “cannot be given the status of second wife” as per the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955.Dr. Achom’s counsel argued that Ms. Puni “intentionally” interfered with her settled family, causing “consortium, defamation and mental and nervous shock”. The complaint also said Dr. Achom underwent psychiatric treatment after the status of “wife of a broken family” greatly affected her reputation.While Dr. Singh admitted to having an “illicit relationship” with Ms. Puni, the court found that she “knowingly and voluntarily” started the live-in relationship with the IAS officer by considering herself as his second wife after the traditional Loukhatpa (acceptance ceremony) in 2016.Dr. Achom had sought damages of ₹10 crore. Observing that there was no specific formula in India to compute the quantum of compensation with regard to intentional torts concerning extra-marital or live-in relationship, Judge Somorjit Singh directed Ms. Puni to pay ₹70 lakh to the aggrieved legal wife.last_img