BY- Hardik Singh Rathore
Making unfounded allegations against the spouse amounts to mental cruelty, the Nagpur Bench of Bombay supreme court observed upholding the decree of divorce granted to the wife by the court of domestic relations
A Bench of Justices AS Chandurkar and PV Ganediwala took an unfavorable view of the husband’s arguments regarding the wife obtaining a false caste certificate and suffering from epilepsy which it concluded were without basis.
Making unfounded allegations against the spouse or his/her relatives or making complaints to affect the work of the spouse amounts to causing mental cruelty to the said spouse, the Court added.
The wife, during this case, had moved the domestic relations court at Nagpur for divorce on the lowest of cruelty and desertion claiming she had been ill-treated by the husband and his family and driven out of the house after they took her gold ornaments and articles.
The husband denied these allegations contending that his wife and her relations had obtained spurious caste certificates belonging to ‘Rajput Bhamta’ for securing employment.
After perusing the evidence, the domestic relations court held that the wife was able to prove the allegation of cruelty but not desertion. Accordingly, a decree for divorce was passed on the lowest of cruelty.
The husband challenged the decree claiming that the allegation of cruelty wasn’t proved by the wife.
Referring to the evidence, he contended “that except normal wear and tear of marital life there was no substantial evidence brought on record by the respondent to prove rock bottom of cruelty.”
The husband further claimed that the wife suffered from epilepsy and this fact wasn’t disclosed by the relations before their marriage. The evidence during this regard was also placed on record.
The wife opposed reiterating that the cruelty meted to her wasn’t merely physical but also mental.
She added that the allegations that she suffered from epilepsy which her family had procured false caste certificates for securing employment weren’t proved.
Such unsubstantiated false allegations resulted in mental cruelty and were rightly considered by the domestic relations court while allowing divorce, it had been argued.
The Court noted that there have been no pleadings by the husband to the effect that the wife was affected by epilepsy. This was raised for the primary time during his deposition, the Court observed.
The Court also noted that in his cross-examination the husband admitted to having filed various complaints about the false caste certificate at the office where the wife was employed. He had made allegations but he had not substantiated those allegations by leading any evidence.
The court concluded that supported the unsubstantiated allegations the conduct of the husband caused mental cruelty to his wife.
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