Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Leaving husband’s home is wife’s cruelty, says High Court

Leaving husband’s home is wife’s cruelty, says High Court

Monday, February 22, 2010 at 12:26:46 AM

The Bombay High Court (HC) in an order last week upholding a divorce granted by the family court said that leaving the house of the husband to stay with parents without informing or taking the husband into confidence is a conduct against matrimonial duties and amounts to cruelty. 

The division bench of Justice D B Bhosale and Justice R Y Ganoo was hearing an appeal filed by a wife against a family court order of 2005 granting divorce to the husband. 

The couple got married in 1996 and started staying in Chembur. In 2001, the husband moved the family court seeking divorce on grounds of cruelty.

The family court granted the divorce and the wife then appealed to HC saying that the husband could not establish cruelty and thus the judge has erred in granting divorce on grounds of cruelty. 

The HC in its order took note of instances of cruelty cited by the husband. The husband said that she would abuse him and his parents in filthy language, insult him publicly on the streets, not allow him to go to work,  left early in the morning  and would return late at night and when requested  to prepare food she would refuse to do so. 

The husband said that she was hot-tempered and was also in the habit of leaving the matrimonial home without informing him. 

She would also threaten to damage electrical appliances and household articles. The husband mentioned that on certain occasions she assaulted him and he had to take medical treatment. It was also his case that owing to her quarrelsome behaviour his reputation in the society was damaged.  

The wife on the other hand denied all his allegations, saying that it was the husband who was treating her cruelly. She told the court that despite his cruel nature, she was living with him. 

She said that the husband picked up quarrels with her and filed the petition for divorce without any basis and thus the HC should reject the divorce granted by the family court.   

The HC however, upheld the divorce and dismissed the appeal filed by the wife. The court took into consideration all the evidence put forward by both the parties to support their case. The court said that the Family Court Judge was right in observing that the wife’s behaviour amounted to cruelty.

The court in its order stated that the husband had filed complaint to the Social Service Wing of Mumbai Police narrating as to how the wife abused him.

“In the normal course, if the behaviour of the appellant (wife) was proper, there was no reason for the respondent (husband) to make any grievance to the Social Service Wing of the Mumbai Police making a request to look into the matrimonial dispute,” said the judges. 

While rejecting the wife’s claim that she had filed complaints to the police the HC said: “She has not produced any document to show complaints with the police or even medical treatment given to her. 

This will clearly go to show that the appellant (wife) came out with the false case about having filed complaints against the respondent (husband). 

The court further gave weightage to the fact that even the occupants of the building had observed that she was picking up fights with her husband without any reason. The husband supported his case with letters and complaints filed on various occasions.  

The court further referred to an intervention made by the Shakha Pramukh of Shiv Sena. The parties were called at the Shakha to resolve the matrimonial dispute. 

“Even the Shakha Pramukh had visited house of the appellant and had told her to reconcile and stay with the respondent. This would clearly go to show that even respectable persons in the locality were convinced that the behaviour of the appellant required change,” said Justice Ganoo and Justice Bhosale. 

“Surely, if the wife leaves the house of the husband and stays with her parents without informing the husband or taking the husband in confidence, such a conduct will have to be treated against the matrimonial duties and therefore the respondent was right in claiming that the appellant had treated the respondent with cruelty,” ruled the HC.

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