Making wild allegations against spouse could lead to divorce: Supreme Court
As by Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN | Jul 2, 2014, 06.07 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has ruled that leveling wild allegations repeatedly by one spouse against the other could inflict mental agony and it would be a ground for the aggrieved person to move court seeking divorce citing "irretrievable breakdown of marriage".
Nearly seven years ago, the Supreme Court had formulated "irretrievable breakdown of marriage" as a ground for grant of divorce to couples and had suggested to the legislature to amend the law to provide statutory backing to this new ground for dissolution of marriage.
On Monday, a bench of justices SJ Mukhopadhaya and Dipak Misra added to that judgment and said leveling of wild allegations inflicts humiliation and affects the reputation of the aggrieved spouse.
Affirming the decree of divorce granted to Dr BV Ravi, an associate professor in a government hospital, the bench said his wife had been making wild allegations which portrayed him to be gender insensitive. The court also noted that she had been, without reason, refusing to go to live with him with their child and making false charges against his relatives.
Writing the judgment, Justice Misra said: "Marriage as a social institution is an affirmation of civilized social order where two individuals, capable of entering into wedlock, have pledged themselves to the institutional norms and values and promised to each other a cemented bond to sustain and maintain the marital obligation."
Justice Misra said different persons react differently to similar situations. "What could be mental cruelty in the life of two individuals belonging to particular strata may not amount to mental cruelty in respect of another couple belonging to a different stratum of society."
Referring to the wife's conduct, the bench said: "From this kind of attitude and treatment it can be inferred that the husband has been treated with mental cruelty and definitely he has faced ignominy being an associate professor in a government medical college. When one enjoys social status working in a government hospital, this humiliation affects the reputation and self-respect."
Despite the breakdown of marriage, the bench kept in mind the interests of the 16-year-old son of the couple and said it was the father's "bounden duty to provide for maintenance and education" of the child. Excluding the amount already paid to the wife, the court asked the husband to pay Rs 25 lakh to her in six months for the purpose of education of the child.
It directed the Bangalore family court to keep the money in a nationalized bank in the joint account of the child and mother, who can draw the interest to spend on her son's education.