Senior IPS officer’s (IG Police) divorce set aside by Bombay HC – Lower court erred in accepting cruelty allegations due to wife's false frivolous complaints and unsoundness of mind
Posted On Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 02:34:23 AM
Senior IPS officer Hemant Nagrale and his wife Pratima
The Bombay High Court has set aside the order passed by the family court, grating divorce to Hemant Nagrale, 46, senior IPS officer and inspector general of police, from his wife Pratima Nagrale, 41, saying that the trial court has committed manifest error in exercise of discretion and power vested in it.
HC further said that the law mandates that the court is obliged to enquire into allegations such as in the present case - where the husband says the (respondent) wife was of unsound mind and her behaviour was causing cruelty to the (petitioner) husband.
Nagrale represented by senior counsel P K Dhakhephalkar and counsels R P Sharma, S S Ghosh and Rahul Sinha in HC, moved family court for divorce under Section 13 (i-a) of the Hindu Marriage Act, stating that his wife’s attitude was not proper and that she was lodging false and frivolous complaints against him. He alleged that this was harassment and mental cruelty.
Senior IPS officer Hemant Nagrale and his wife Pratima In addition, Nagrale stated that this was due to her suffering from intermittent schizophrenia attacks. Details of her behaviour were elaborated in his petition.The family court passed judgment and decree allowing his petition and hence the marriage held on May 4, 1990 was dissolved.By the same judgment, the family court also held that permanent custody of the children shall remain with Nagrale. Pratima filed an application before the family court for setting aside the order claiming that the decree was passed ex-parte and also moved HC in appeal.
Initially Pratima was present for court proceeding but later stayed absent and did not even file a reply or deny allegations against her. On the other hand, Nagrale produced documents and also filed an affidavit.Committing the case back for re-trial the division bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and A A Sayed said they are convinced this case requires fresh consideration by the trial court.
The HC pointed out that the husband was relying on documentary evidence to substantiate his allegation that his wife’s behaviour was intolerable. “The family court, before accepting the allegation leveled against the wife that she suffered a mental disorder, was obliged to enquire into that aspect.It is only after recording its satisfaction that the appellant was capable of defending her own cause, it ought to have proceeded further in the matter,” said the judges. The judges have now directed the family court to inquire afresh into the matter on August 16.