A Mumbai court has held that tennis player Leander Paes inflicted economic and mental violence on his former live-in partner Rhea Pillai, Live Law reported on Friday. Metropolitan Magistrate Komalsing Rajput held that the relationship between Paes and Pillai was of the nature of a marriage.
The court directed the tennis player to pay Pillai a monthly maintenance of Rs one lakh and another Rs 50,000 per month for rental expenses. Paes already pays for all expenses related to their daughter, Aiyana.
Pillai, a model and Art of Living instructor, had filed a petition under the Domestic Violence Act seeking directions from the court to stop Paes from carrying out any further acts of violence and from communicating with her.
She also sought the partition of their shared house into two apartments of equal size.
The court held that Pillai could not be deprived of her rights merely because live-in relationships are not socially acceptable.
The judge observed that in a patriarchal society, the female partners in live-in relationships suffer injustice, Bar and Bench reported.
“Several times it [live-in relationships] posed situations leading to conflict between law and morality,” the judge noted. “Such relationship put parties into peril. Particularly, a female partner, is always at the receiving end.”
In 1998, Pillai got married to actor Sanjay Dutt, but the two separated in 1999. Dutt and Pillai got officially divorced on February 6, 2008.
Paes and Pillai started living together in 2005 and their daughter was born in April 2006. However, differences emerged between the couple. In 2014, the tennis player filed a petition in a family court seeking custody of their daughter.
The metropolitan magistrate, in his recent verdict, held that when they started living together, Paes knew Pillai was married to Dutt. The judge held that due to this, the tennis player could not question the legality of their relationship.
The court, however, noted that Pillai hails from an economically sound background, and that Paes currently lives in a rented house. It directed the model to vacate the house as a condition for receiving monthly rental expenses from Paes.