A division bench of Delhi High Court held that, repeated threats to commit suicide and the attempt to commit suicide was held to be an action amounting to cruelty, based on Supreme Court decisions.
From Pars 25-31,
Payal Sethi Vs Rohit Sethi on 09 Jan 2024
25. The repeated threats to commit suicide and the attempt to commit suicide was held to be an action amounting to cruelty by the Supreme court in the case of Pankaj Mahajan Vs. Dimple, (2011) 12 SCC 1. It was further observed that cruelty postulates a treatment of a spouse with such cruelty that it would be harmful or injurious to live with the other spouse. Similarly in Narendra Vs. K. Meena (2016) 9 SCC 455, it was observed that in case the wife succeeds in committing suicide, one can only imagine how the poor husband would get entangled into the clutches of law which would virtually ruin his sanity, peace of mind, career and probably his entire life. Such threat of attempting suicide amounts to cruelty.
26. In the present case as well, the conduct of the appellant is clearly is an act of cruelty towards the respondent/husband.
27. We may note further that on leaving the matrimonial home on 15.12.2009, the appellant lodged a complaint with Crime against Women Cell, which became the basis of registration of FIR No. 508/2012 under Section 498A/406/34 IPC. The respondent was once again driven to take anticipatory bail. The appellant even made a claim of Rs.5 lakhs to settle all the disputes, but the respondent was not in a position to offer more than Rs.3 lakhs because of which the matter could not be settled.
28. Even thereafter another case under the Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act was filed in the year 2018 despite the separation of more than nine years. The appellant, no doubt has a legal right to take recourse for the wrong that may have been committed but making unsubstantiated allegations of having been subjected to dowry demands or acts of cruelty by the respondent or his family members, and getting criminal trials initiated against the respondent are clearly acts of cruelty.
29. In the case of K. Srinivas Vs. K. Sunita (2013) 5 SCC 226, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that filing of false complaints against the husband and his family members constitutes mental cruelty for the purpose of Section 13 (1) (ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act. It was further observed that filing appeals questioning the acquittal of the husband indicates the relentless attempts of the wife to somehow ensure that the husband and his family are put in jail. Such acts, without a doubt, amount to cruelty.
30. The Supreme Court in Mangayakarasi v. M. Yuvaraj (2020) 3 SCC 786, observed that an unsubstantiated allegation of dowry demand or such other allegations made against the husband and his family members exposed them to criminal litigation. Ultimately, if it is found that such allegations were unwarranted and without basis, the husband can allege that mental cruelty has been inflicted on him and claim a divorce on such a ground.
31. We note that during the two years of their matrimonial life, the parties barely resided together for ten months in all and even during that time there were various acts of the cruelty of being subjected to false complaints and civil as well as criminal litigation, committed by the appellant towards the respondent. We therefore, conclude that the learned Addl. Principal Judge, Family Court has rightly held that the respondent was subjected to cruelty by the appellant and granted divorce under Section 13 (1)(ia) of the HMA.
Index of Divorce Judgments is here.