HC grants divorce to man, says 11-yr separation and false allegations source of mental cruelty

The Delhi High Court has granted a divorce decree to a man on the grounds of mental cruelty inflicted upon him by his estranged wife, saying there is no chance of reconciliation between them given the long separation of over 11 years peppered with false allegations levelled by the woman.

The high court said any insistence on continuing the relationship will only inflict further cruelty on the parties.

“The marital discord between the parties has pinnacled as there is a complete loss of faith, trust, understanding and love between the parties. Such long separation brings with it deprivation of conjugal relationship and cohabitation which is the basic foundation of any matrimonial relationship. The separation for more than eleven years for no fault of the appellant (man), in itself is an act of cruelty,” a bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal Krishna said.

The high court’s order came while allowing the man’s appeal challenging a family court’s decision refusing to grant him divorce on grounds of cruelty under the Hindu Marriage Act.

The estranged couple had got married in November 2011 and problems started between them soon thereafter. They had stayed together barely for six months.

The man claimed his estranged wife used to pressure him to visit her parental home and threatened to end her life if he did not. When she left her matrimonial home, she was adamant about not returning, he alleged.

The woman, however, claimed she was treated cruelly and harassed for not bringing enough dowry, and her husband and his family members left her at her parental home and refused to take her back.

The high court, in its order, noted that the marriage had survived for barely six months and conciliatory efforts by the husband by sending a legal notice and requesting the woman to return to the matrimonial home did not help in their reunion.

“From the comprehensive reading of the entire evidence, it is established that the respondent (woman) was not able to adjust in the matrimonial home and there were adjustment issues between her and the appellant (man).

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“The respondent has not produced any evidence to show that any conciliatory efforts were made by her or she was willing to return to her matrimonial home. Her stand in the reply to the legal notice was that she can return only if the appellant and his family members stopped harassing her from the dowry demands,” the bench said.

It added though a charge sheet was filed under Section 498A (cruelty done to a married woman by her husband and his family members) of the Indian Penal Code, no cogent evidence was produced to substantiate her allegations of dowry harassment or attempt to kill her.

The high court said there was no chance of reconciliation between the parties and “such long separation peppered with false allegations and complaints have become a source of mental cruelty and any insistence to continue this relationship would only be inflicting further cruelty upon both the parties”.

“We therefore conclude from the evidence of the parties that the appellant was subjected to cruelty. The appeal is, therefore, allowed and the divorce is granted on the ground of cruelty,” the bench said.

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