Wife calling husband dark-skinned amounts to cruelty, says Karnataka HC granting divorce to couple

The High Court of Karnataka has said that insulting a man for being dark-skinned by his wife constitutes cruelty as it underlined this as a strong reason for allowing his appeal and granted him divorce.

The HC stated this, in a recent judgement, while granting divorce to a 44-year-old man from his 41-year-old wife.

The evidence on record, from close scrutiny, also leads to the conclusion that the wife used to insult the husband on the premise that he is dark and for the same reason has moved away from the company of the husband without any cause, the court noted.

“To cover up this aspect, (she) has levelled false allegations of illicit relationships against the husband. These facts certainly will constitute cruelty,” the HC said while allowing the petition for dissolution of the marriage under Section 13(i)(a) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

The couple from Bengaluru got married in 2007 and had a girl child. In 2012, the husband approached a family court in Bengaluru seeking divorce.

His appeal was heard by the division bench of Justices Alok Aradhe and Anant Ramanath Hegde, which gave the judgment.

“It is the case of the husband that the wife used to humiliate him on the pretext that he is dark-skinned. He has further stated that the husband used to bear insult for the sake of the child,” the HC noted.

She had also filed a case under Section 498A (subjecting a married woman to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code against her husband and in-laws.

The woman also filed a case under the Domestic Violence Act and left with the child to live with her parents.

She had denied the allegations in the family court and in turn alleged that it was the husband and his family members who were ill-treating her and subjecting her to cruelty.

She alleged that they demanded dowry from her and did not allow her to go out with her child. She also alleged that her husband had an illicit relationship with another woman and had a child with her.

The family court had dismissed the husband’s petition for divorce in 2017 after which he approached the HC, which pronounced the verdict recently.

The HC said that the allegations levelled against the husband that he is having an illicit relationship with a lady is totally unfounded and baseless as well as reckless.

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“This allegation made in paragraph No.10 of the statement of objections is serious. If such an allegation is made in the pleading, it can be certainly concluded that the person against whom such allegation is made will be subject to enormous mental cruelty. This fact has not been appreciated by the Family Court at all.”

The HC also said that calling him dark amounted to cruelty.

“It is further stated that the wife has not made any attempt to join the company of the husband to come back and the evidence on record would establish that she was not interested in the marriage because of the dark complexion of the husband. By referring to these contentions, it is urged that the Family Court ought to have granted a decree for the dissolution of marriage,” the HC said setting aside the family court order.

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