Hon’ble Delhi High Court affirmed the divorce granted to husband because of the mental cruelty caused by the wife relying on landmark decision by Hon,ble Supreme Court.
From Paras 11, 12 and 13,
Bharti Bhardwaj Vs Deepak Bhardwaj on 03 Feb 2021
11. Now, given that matrimonial disputes rarely involve production of concrete evidence in documentary or audio-visual form, and mostly proceed on the relative strength of the opposing allegations made by the parties, the entire process of leading and recording evidence has a significant role to play in establishing one’s case. Thus, notwithstanding her denials in the written statement, the appellant was expected to properly and specifically cross-examine the respondent to prove her allegations of cruelty against him and disprove those he had levelled against her. The importance of properly discharging this function of cross-examination was discussed by the Supreme Court in the following paragraphs of its decision in Rajinder Pershad Vs. Darshana Devi (2001) 7 SCC 69
12. Although the appellant, in the grounds adopted in the appeal, has assailed the reliance of the learned Family Court on the decision in State of U.P. v. Nahar Singh (1998) 3 SCC 561 to contend that the same was a criminal case and the precedent arising therefrom could not apply to cross examinations in matrimonial proceedings, which are civil proceedings by nature, there is no merit to this opposition; especially in the light of the observations of the Supreme Court in Darshana Devi’s case which was a civil proceeding. In fact, the standard of proof in a matrimonial proceeding- which is also in the nature of a civil proceeding is not as strict, as in criminal proceedings. Thus, the case is required to be proved on preponderance of probabilities and not the legal standard of being beyond a reasonable doubt. Keeping in view the aforesaid, it is evident that there was a crucial responsibility placed on the shoulders of the appellant which was to ensure that she challenged the specifics of the allegations raised by the respondent and establish their lack of veracity. Paragraphs 44 to 46 of the impugned judgment clearly show that the appellant had not cross-examined the respondent/husband on these important aspects, and, thus, completely failed to draw out the facts as claimed by her. In fact, even before us, the appellant, other than contending that the onus of proving cruelty rested upon the respondent, has failed to provide any cogent reasons for failing to cross-examine the respondent in support of her own case, or to challenge his allegations of cruelty. It is a settled proposition of law that the Court would normally accept unchallenged and uncontroverted assertions of fact. The failure of the appellant to effectively cross-examine the respondent shows that she neither seriously challenged his version of the factual position, nor established her own version. Therefore, in our view, the Family Court was justified in accepting the unrebutted testimony of the respondent.
13. When we view this in addition to the fact that in her written statement, the appellant had admitted to having levelled false allegations against the respondent and his family under the DV Act, we find there were plenty of holes in the appellant’s story. Her feeble explanation for this ill-thought out act of falsely implicating the respondent and his family was that the same was not done malevolently, but only with an intention to ensure that the parties were sent to counselling in order to settle their disputes. That
Citations : [2021 SCC ONLINE DEL 1060]
Other Sources :
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.
Delhi High Court passed this Judgment, critiquing the conduct of a ADJ in a matrimonial case…
Jiten Bhalla Vs Gaytri Bajaj on 08 Sep 2008
124. Here in the present case, the Addl.District Judge without recording the evidence and without going into the allegations and counter allegations made by both the parties, has disposed of this application, which is unwarranted, since all the allegations and counter allegations made in the present proceedings require evidence.
125. Now, the question which arises for consideration as to whether present appeal under Section 28 of Act is maintainable or not. Even assuming for arguments sake that appeal is not maintainable, but revision does lie and this appeal can be treated as revision.
126. When admittedly, civil suit was pending, then there was no occasion for Addl.District Judge to have admitted application under Section 151 CPC for consideration and as such, the order of Addl.District Judge in entertaining application under Section 151 CPC, was patently without jurisdiction.
127. Lastly, the Addl. District Judge has made certain observations about the health of the his predecessor.
128. There was no occasion for Sh.V.K.Khanna, Addl.District Judge, to make such observations.
129. It has nowhere been pleaded by the respondent/applicant in application under Section 151 CPC, that predecessor of Sh.V.K.Khanna, Additional District Judge was not keeping good health or the judgment has not been signed by him.
131. A judicial officer has no authority or jurisdiction to comment upon the functioning and working of judicial officer of same rank, about the competency or physical condition of his successor. 132. Whether an Additional District Judge, who is subordinate to this Court, is competent to discharge his judicial functions or not, that is, for this Court to decide. Sh.V.K.Khanna, Additional District Judge has assumed powers of this Court and has made sarcastic remarks on the functioning, competency and physical condition of his predecessor, Sh.S.C.Mittal, Additional District Judge (since deceased) who was much senior in hierarchy to Sh.V.K.Khanna, Additional District Judge.
133. A judicial officer, has no business or right to compare the signatures of his predecessor on the judicial proceedings which have been made by him in discharge of his judicial functions. More so, when no pleadings whatsoever in respect thereof, have been made by any of the parties. The conduct of Sh.V.K.Khanna, Additional Districut Judge in making the above remarks about the physical conditions and functioning of Sh.S.C.Mittal, Additional District Judge, are highly improper and uncalled for.
137. A copy of this judgment be placed before the Inspecting Judges of Sh.V.K.Khanna, Additional District Judge, for taking appropriate action, against Sh.V.K.Khanna, Additional District Judge for his improper conduct, in making comments against his successor, which are against the judicial ethics and discipline.
Citations : [2008 AD DEL 9 618], [2008 DRJ 106 651], [2008 DMC 2 503], [2008 SCC ONLINE DEL 1032]
Other Sources :
A challenge to this Order was dismissed at Supreme Court here.
High Court of Calcutta held as following, while granted husband a decree of divorce.
However, we, in this matrimonial proceeding for divorce, cannot approve the action of the wife of forcefully entering the house of the husband when a suit for divorce had already been filed against her on the ground of cruelty. She had her rented accommodation where she was staying and had also the paternal house at Dum Dum. She is an employee of the Central Government and is not a helpless lady in that sense of the term and not even dependant upon the husband in anyway. In our view, once a matrimonial suit has been filed, the wife has no right to have a force entry in the house of her husband against his will if she is provided with maintenance by the husband. In the case before us, the respondent being an employee of the Central Government, she is quite capable of maintaining herself and thus, she had no right to enter the house of the husband by the help of the local people. The sole object of the respondent was to frustrate the suit by contending that she had been staying in the same room as husband and wife and she has actually taken such plea in this proceeding. We, however, do not believe such assertion of the wife after taking into consideration the fact that the she has initiated proceedings under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code during the pendency of the suit and all the members of the family were arrested. No reasonable person will believe the statement of the wife that the husband is staying with her notwithstanding the pendency of the criminal case where charge has been framed and he is an accused person along with other members of the family. Such wrongful entry in the house with the help of local people has definitely caused humiliation of the husband, an employee of the defence service, in the estimation of the local people and in the facts of the present case positively amounts to cruelty. We further find that the wife in her written statements made specific allegation that the husband, in order to marry his girlfriend and to misappropriate her ornaments, filed the suit for divorce. In evidence, however, the respondent did not lead any evidence in support of such allegation about the moral character of the husband and no suggestion was even given in cross-examination of the husband that he had any illicit relation with any girl. We, therefore, find that the wife has made baseless allegation against the husband in the written statement about the desire of the husband to marry any other lady and such act also amounts to cruelty.
Therefore, even if we hold that the husband has failed to prove that the wife used to allege his illicit relation with his own sisters, we are satisfied that the subsequent behaviors of the wife towards the husband definitely amount to cruelty.
We find from the deposition of the wife that she is a pathological liar as would appear from various deliberate false statements made in course of deposition. She stated that she came to know of the filing of the suit on 12th August, 1990 whereas it appears from the order-sheet that she entered appearance in the suit on 26th April, 1990 and repeatedly prayed for time to file written statement. In her cross-examination, she stated that she lodged complaint under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code against her father-in-law and the sisters-in-law and not against her husband although it appears that the husband was one of the accused persons and was arrested. She further stated in one place of her deposition that in the rented accommodation, both of them were happy and there was no torture upon either of the parties. (See: page 112 at the penultimate paragraph of the Paper Book). Such statement is inconsistent with her other statements as regards the alleged misbehaviour of the husband in the rented accommodation. She has alleged conspiracy of killing her against the sisters of the husband and in the same breath, expressed her desire to stay with her husband along with her sisters-in-law. She specifically stated that she never created pressure to take any rented house but the facts remain that the said tenancy was taken in her name and it was not the husband who of his own took such tenancy in the name of his wife.
On consideration of the entire materials on record we, thus, find that from the very beginning the wife and her family, took shelter under the local
organisations controlled by the political party and created pressure upon the husband, first to become a domesticated son-in-law and then to take rented accommodation for the purpose of living separately from the old parents and the dependant sisters of the husband. Even thereafter, she could not be happy and when, the suit was filed after the death of her mother-in-law, she with the help of the local political party entered forcibly in the house of her husband and started criminal proceedings against the husband and the members of his family. However, in Court she took a stance that she was ready to live with her husband. All these facts taken together will lead to the conclusion that she was intolerant in her attitude and her aforesaid acts definitely amounted to cruelty.
Subhash Chandra Das Chowdhury Vs Sandhya Das Chowdhury on 18 July 2008
Naveen Kohli case here.
Other cases wherein Divorce was granted to Husband here.
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
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