The petitioner Salim got married to Meherunissa in 1993 and have two children. Nissa complained that she faced constant harassment and demand for money and was finally driven out of the house in 2001. She and her parents were threatened when they could not pay the money demanded by Salim in 2002. When the financial condition of Meherunissa's parents grew worse and she was unable to meet their medical expenses, she lodged a domestic violence complaint in 2009. She sought Rs 5,000 as monthly maintenance for herself and their two daughters and a lump sum payment of Rs 3 lakh towards compensation, medical expenses and litigation costs.
On the other hand, Salim challenged the petition saying that the application was not maintainable, but the lower court dismissed his plea. He then approached the high court.
Salim's lawyers had argued that the allegations of harassment and abuse were prior to 2006, which is when the Act came into force. The high court said in Meherunissa's case, there was a "continuous cause of action as she was still his wife".
"Denial of access to shared household to the wife took place prior to the Act coming into force, but such denial continued even thereafter," said the judge. "Giving relief to the wife for continuous breach of the legal right would not amount to giving retrospective effect to the provisions of the Act," the judge said.