There was mental cruelty done to husband and the High Court nailed the point straight.
From Paras 18 and 19,
18. Keeping in mind the aforesaid guiding parameters, now we proceed to examine the evidence on record. Apart from the allegations and counter allegations by the parties against each other with regard to their mutual misbehavior, the crucial point on which the respondent/ husband sought decree of divorce, and which according to him is the reason for his mental sufferings and anguishes, is the suspicious and skeptical nature of the appellant/ wife, as she used to have a doubt on his character. She was doubting his relations with one lady employee from his office. It is his case that the appellant/ wife used to visit his office and used to create scenes. She used to abuse him in filthy language on his character and used to humiliate him in front of their adolescent daughters.
19. The respondent/ husband, in his pleadings and evidence, further stated that he had purchased one plot of land and constructed a house thereon on loan and at present, the same is in possession of the appellant/ wife. He is paying installments for the repayment of the loan for house from his
salary account. To pacify her, he even transferred his house in her name. He has stated that fed-up with her acrimonious behaviour, he had to lodge reports at police station, and there were counselling before the Women Cell, and in consequence thereof, she resumed cohabitation. Lastly, he said, he had no option but to leave the house and to reside in a rented house.
20. A perusal of the written statements of the appellant/ wife would reflect that she has not denied, even by way of simple denial, about the contents in para 3 of the divorce petition of the respondent/ husband which are with regard to the suspicious nature of the appellant/ wife, doubting his character, abusing in a filthy language and visiting his office and creating scenes etc.
Crucial Paras 22 and 25,
22. In the instant case, admittedly, there are no positive allegations with regard to the character of the respondent/ husband in the written statement of the appellant/ wife. However, maintaining silence in her written statement and not countering the case of cruelty of the respondent/ husband on this ground, coupled with the fact that there were specific suggestions in the cross-examination of the respondent/ husband by taking the name of the alleged lady, in the opinion of this Court, is nothing but the unfounded allegation on the character of the husband as held in the above cited case.
25. A collective reading of his cross-examination, it appears, it is more focused on the maintenance part and less on the allegations of mental cruelty as alleged by the respondent/ husband. So the material allegations, with regard to mental cruelty as pleaded by the respondent/ husband, have neither be denied in the written statement of the appellant/ wife nor have they been sufficiently countered during his cross examination. As per law, the facts, which are not denied, are deemed to have been admitted. As per Order 8 Rule 5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, the facts which are not denied specifically are deemed to have been admitted, and simple denial is no denial. In the instant case, there is no denial at all.
26. The effect of non cross-examination of a witness was discussed by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Muddasani Venkata Narsaiah (Dead) Through Legal Representatives Vs. Muddasani Sarojana, reported in (2016) 12 SCC 288, wherein Their Lordships have held that the cross-examination is a matter of substance not of procedure one isrequired to put one’s own version in cross-examination of opponent. It is further observed that the effect of non-cross examination is that the statement of witness has not been disputed. In the said judgment, the Hon’ble Apex Court relied on the judgment in the case of Maroti Bansi Teli Vs. Radhabai, reported in AIR 1945 Nag 60, wherein it has been laid down that the matters sworn to by one party in the pleadings notchallenged either in pleadings or cross-examination by other party must be accepted as fully established.
Sarita Gosawi Vs Bharat Gosawi on 05 Mar 2021
31. As rightly pointed out by the learned counsel for the respondent/ husband the case of Vijaykumar Bhate (supra) wherein, the Hon’ble Apex Court took the view that the false and malicious allegations against the character of a spouse is a ground for dissolving the marriage on account of causing mental cruelty.
32. Furthermore, the appellant/ wife could not prove her allegations with regard to demand of dowry and ill-treatment. On the contrary, it is borne out from the record that the respondent/ husband himself had to leave from his own house fed-up with her mis-behaviour.
For the act of asking to do household chores by her Mother-in-law, this women forced husband to setup a separate family ditching the elderly mother-in-law. Family Court fell for it but Kerala High Court (Justice Many Joseph) granted divorce in favor of husband on the ground of cruelty (Mental cruelty).
Married on 17.04.2003
Left the matrimonial home on 10.02.2011
Case no: OP 805/2011
Decision of Family Court, THALASSERY on 21-01-2014
Mat.Appeal.No.137 OF 2014
Decision of Kerala High Court on 20-05-2020
From Para 19,
19. From the above discussion of the pleadings and evidence, it cannot be said that the oral evidence tendered is totally devoid of support of necessary pleadings. Moreover, the respondent has no case that the petitioner was a drunkard at the time when he married her. On the contrary her specific case was that he was lovable and affectionate and their life was smooth, happy and comfortable. Evidence indicates that the respondent and the petitioner’s mother were not cordial and clashes were frequent. Therefore, it is natural for the petitioner to be a scapegoat of the in-differences. It is also natural for a wife in that scenario to make persistent effort to constrain her husband to be separated from the family life and that would undoubtedly be tortuous for him. In the case on hand the petitioner’s turning to be a drunkard can only be taken as the natural outcome of the pressure exerted on him by the respondent to have a separate residence to the exclusion of petitioner’s mother. The persistence of the respondent was
unbearable for the petitioner, could be seen from his conduct of avoidance of the company of the respondent after leaving her at the parental home on 10.02.2011.
From Para 22,
22. No family is totally devoid of clashes among members constituting it. It is common for elders to scold and sometimes abuse youngsters. Making a daughter in law to do the house hold/domestic work is also not something unusual. From the evidence tendered by the respondent, it is all the more clear that the aforestated factors formed the basis for her ill-will to petitioner’s mother.
Hehe Para 24,
24. We have no hesitation to hold that the Family Court was highly unjustified in making the above observations. The Family Court has taken the role of a councilor rather than an adjudicator while doing so. It is after much efforts and counseling that a case comes up before the court for adjudication. Then the role of the court is to adjudicate the issue involved in the case based on the evidence after duly appreciating it. The Family Court is not supposed to advice the remedies to the parties and issuing directions. We are not satisfied with the way in which the Family Court had dealt with the case on hand.
Ranjith.P.C. Vs Asha Nair.P on 20 May 2020
Telangana High Court did not interfere with the divorce decree granted by lower Court and held so in the following Paras.
Lavanya Vs Ragavendra Goud on 9 January 2020
31. Therefore it appears that without any valid reason, the appellant deserted the respondent and denied him conjugal life. She also leveled false allegations that he and his family members demanded dowry. It appears that the appellant was left at her parents’ house by the respondent after she insisted on staying with her parents and threatened to commit suicide otherwise.
32. In these circumstances, we are of the opinion that the Court below was right in holding that not only had the appellant deserted the respondent and avoided leading a marital life since February, 2014, but also her threat to commit suicide put the respondent at risk.
33. Also, the filing of the criminal complaint under Section 498A IPC by the appellant against the respondent would make it difficult for the parties to lead a happy marital life.
34. We are also of the view that when it is the very case of the appellant that the respondent and his family members had allegedly harassed her for dowry, why she is opposing the grant of divorce is inexplicable because if her contention were to be correct, she would herself be subjecting herself to further cruelty at the instance of the respondent.
35. In these circumstances, we do not deem it appropriate to interfere with the order passed by the Court below dissolving the marriage between the parties.
Other Source links: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/65011903/
Supreme Court had that filing false complaints caused mental cruelty and thereby gives opportunity to seek divorce on the ground of Cruelty.
Raj Talreja Vs Kavita Talreja on 24 April 2017
“11. Cruelty can never be defined with exactitude. What is cruelty will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case. In the present case, from the facts narrated above, it is apparent that the wife made reckless, defamatory and false accusations against her husband, his family members and
colleagues, which would definitely have the effect of lowering his reputation in the eyes of his peers. Mere filing of complaints is not cruelty, if there are justifiable reasons to file the complaints. Merely because no action is taken on the complaint or after trial the accused is acquitted may not be a ground to treat such accusations of the wife as cruelty within the meaning of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (for short “the Act”). However, if it is
found that the allegations are patently false, then there can be no manner of doubt that the said conduct of a spouse levelling false accusations against the other spouse would be an act of cruelty.”
Citations: [2017 SCC ONLINE SC 462], [MANU/SC/0493/2017], [2017 AIR SC 2138], [2017 ALR 123 835], [2017 ALD 4 189], [2017 CHN SC 3 77], [2017 CTC 4 208], [2017 CLT 124 401], [2017 DMCSC 2 317], [2017 JLJ 3 367], [2017 JLJR 2 470], [2017 MLJ 4 190], [2017 PLJR 2 475], [2017 RCR CIVIL 2 1044], [2017 SCALE 5 413], [2017 SCJ 5 418]
Other Source links: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/139144445/ and https://www.casemine.com/judgement/in/58fe28e753bee70a8573e00c
Knife filed false criminal cases and the husband and his father had to be in police custody for nine days. This is cruelty and hence divorce for husband.Suchitra Kumar Singha Roy Vs Arpita Singha Roy on 20 March 2020
Other Source links:
Apex Court has held that after acquittal from IPC 498A case, husband can file for divorce under the ground of Cruelty.
Telangana High Court said that,
Merely because the respondent has sought for maintenance or has filed a complaint against the petitioner for the offence punishable under Section 498-A of IPC, they cannot be said to be valid grounds for holding that such a recourse adopted by the respondent amounts to cruelty.”
The Supreme Court disapproved of this view.
Rani Narasimha Sastry Vs Rani Suneela Rani on 19 November, 2019
The above observation of the High Court cannot be approved. It is true that it is open for anyone to file complaint or lodge prosecution for redressal for his or her grievances and lodge a first information report for an offence also and mere lodging of complaint or FIR cannot ipso facto be treated as cruelty. But when a person undergoes a trial in which he is acquitted of the allegation of offence under Section 498-A of IPC, levelled by the wife against the husband, it cannot be accepted that no cruelty has meted on the husband. As per pleadings before us, after parties having been married on 14.08.2005, they lived together only 18 months and thereafter they are separately living for more than a decade now.
Citations : [2019 SCC ONLINE SC 1595], [2019 (6) CTC 587]
The High Court of Telangana decision that got set aside is here.
Index of all Domestic Violence Judgments is here.
Hon’ble Apex Court has in this judgment, held that giving repeated threats of suicide to husband and making suicide attempts for no reason, or even one such event was sufficient for the Appellant husband to get a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty. It is needless to add that such threats or acts constitute cruelty. And the knife also wanted the Appellant to get separated from his family.
The division bench of the Supreme Court destroyed the arguments of respondent, piece-by-piece.
From Para 10, attempts/threats to commit suicide
10. With regard to the allegations of cruelty levelled by the Appellant, we are in agreement with the findings of the trial Court. First of all, let us look at the incident with regard to an attempt to commit suicide by the Respondent. Upon perusal of the evidence of the witnesses, the findings arrived at by the trial Court to the effect that the Respondent wife had locked herself in the bathroom and had poured kerosene on herself so as to commit suicide, are not in dispute. Fortunately for the Appellant, because of the noise and disturbance, even the neighbours of the Appellant rushed to help and the door of the bathroom was broken open and the Respondent was saved. Had she been successful in her attempt to commit suicide, then one can foresee the consequences and the plight of the Appellant because in that event the Appellant would have been put to immense difficulties because of the legal provisions. We feel that there was no fault on the part of the Appellant nor was there any reason for the Respondent wife to make an attempt to commit suicide. No husband would ever be comfortable with or tolerate such an act by his wife and if the wife succeeds in committing suicide, then one can imagine how a 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. The mere idea with regard to facing legal consequences would put a husband under tremendous stress. The thought itself is distressing. Such a mental cruelty could not have been taken lightly by the High Court. In our opinion, only this one event was sufficient for the Appellant husband to get a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty. It is needless to add that such threats or acts constitute cruelty. Our aforesaid view is fortified by a decision of this Court in the case of Pankaj Mahajan v. Dimple @ Kajal (2011) 12 SCC 1, wherein it has been held that giving repeated threats to commit suicide amounts to cruelty.mental
From Para 11, wanted/attempting to get her husband separated from his family
11. The Respondent wife wanted the Appellant to get separated from his family. The evidence shows that the family was virtually maintained from the income of the Appellant husband. It is not a common practice or desirable culture for a Hindu son in India to get separated from the parents upon getting married at the instance of the wife, especially when the son is the only earning member in the family. A son, brought up and given education by his parents, has a moral and legal obligation to take care and maintain the parents, when they become old and when they have either no income or have a meagre income. In India, generally people do not subscribe to the western thought, where, upon getting married or attaining majority, the son gets separated from the family. In normal circumstances, a wife is expected to be with the family of the husband after the marriage. She becomes integral to and forms part of the family of the husband and normally without any justifiable strong reason, she would never insist that her husband should get separated from the family and live only with her. In the instant case, upon appreciation of the evidence, the trial Court came to the conclusion that merely for monetary considerations, the Respondent wife wanted to get her husband separated from his family. The averment of the Respondent was to the effect that the income of the Appellant was also spent for maintaining his family. The said grievance of the Respondent is absolutely unjustified. A son maintaining his parents is absolutely normal in Indian culture and ethos. There is no other reason for which the Respondent wanted the Appellant to be separated from the family – the sole reason was to enjoy the income of the Appellant. Unfortunately, the High Court considered this to be a justifiable reason. In the opinion of the High Court, the wife had a legitimate expectation to see that the income of her husband is used for her and not for the family members of the Respondent husband. We do not see any reason to justify the said view of the High Court. As stated hereinabove, in a Hindu society, it is a pious obligation of the son to maintain the parents. If a wife makes an attempt to deviate from the normal practice and normal custom of the society, she must have some justifiable reason for that and in this case, we do not find any justifiable reason, except monetary consideration of the Respondent wife. In our opinion, normally, no husband would tolerate this and no son would like to be separated from his old parents and other family members, who are also dependent upon his income. The persistent effort of the Respondent wife to constrain the Appellant to be separated from the family would be torturous for the husband and in our opinion, the trial Court was right when it came to the conclusion that this constitutes an act of ‘cruelty’.
From Para 12, allegations of extra-marital affair with maid Kamla
12. With regard to the allegations about an extra-marital affair with maid named Kamla, the re-appreciation of the evidence by the High Court does not appear to be correct. There is sufficient evidence to the effect that there was no maid named Kamla working at the residence of the Appellant. Some averment with regard to some relative has been relied upon by the High Court to come to a conclusion that there was a lady named Kamla but the High Court has ignored the fact that the Respondent wife had levelled allegations with regard to an extra-marital affair of the Appellant with the maid and not with someone else. Even if there was some relative named Kamla, who might have visited the Appellant, there is nothing to substantiate the allegations levelled by the Respondent with regard to an extra-marital affair. True, it is very difficult to establish such allegations but at the same time, it is equally true that to suffer an allegation pertaining to one’s character of having an extra-marital affair is quite torturous for any person – be it a husband or a wife.
Finally from Para 15, desertion of husband for over 20 years
Narendra Vs K.Meena on 6 October, 2016
15. Taking an overall view of the entire evidence and the judgment delivered by the trial Court, we firmly believe that there was no need to take a different view than the one taken by the trial Court. The behaviour of the Respondent wife appears to be terrifying and horrible. One would find it difficult to live with such a person with tranquility and peace of mind. Such torture would adversely affect the life of the husband. It is also not in dispute that the Respondent wife had left the matrimonial house on 12th July, 1995 i.e. more than 20 years back. Though not on record, the learned counsel submitted that till today, the Respondent wife is not staying with the Appellant. The daughter of the Appellant and Respondent has also grown up and according to the learned counsel, she is working in an IT company. We have no reason to disbelieve the aforestated facts because with the passage of time, the daughter must have grown up and the separation of the Appellant and the wife must have also become normal for her and therefore, at this juncture it would not be proper to bring them together, especially when the Appellant husband was treated so cruelly by the Respondent wife.
Citations : [2016 SCC ONLINE SC 1114], [2016 SCC 9 455], [2016 SCC CIV 4 519], [2016 DLT 233 149], [2016 KLJ 4 287]
Other Sources :
Hon’ble Supreme Court granted divorce to husband on the grounds of cruelty and desertion by knife who is a patient of Bipolar Affective Disorder (A.K.A Chronic Paramoid Schizophrenia). Permanent alimony is granted in this case, God knows why.
Pankaj Mahajan Vs Dimple @ Kajal on 30 September, 2011
Reproduced in accordance with Section 52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, lobis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court and District Court Websites such as ecourts.gov.in
In this FA appeal judgment from Hon’ble High Court of Chhattisgarh, it has granted divorce decree based on the ground of severe metal cruelty to husband and quashed the lump-sum alimony of INR 5,00,000 to the knife, as it was not prayed for in the petition. Maintenance to daughter is held as is.
Shruti Deshpande Vs Shriram Deshpande on 6 March, 2014
Reproduced in accordance with Section 52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, lobis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court and District Court Websites such as ecourts.gov.in