Carrying a foetus in the womb Preeti would obviously be inconvenienced by sex and assuming she totally shunned sex with the petitioner as her pregnancy grew would not constitute cruelty.
The Delhi High Court in Sumit vs. Preeti @Priya, has dismissed husband Sumit’s petition seeking divorce from his wife on various grounds including mental cruelty caused due to denying sex to him during pregnancy.
Sumit and Preeti were blessed with a baby girl within one year of their marriage. Sumit had raised several grounds of cruelty and adultery was one of those as he contended that the biological father of the child was one Vimal, who resided in Agra, where his wife visited often.
This allegation was proved to be false as there were no records of Preeti visiting Agra at the estimated time of her conception. Also, Sumit had himself said they had no conjugal relations after August 2012, which implied through a deemed admission that till July, 2012, the two had a conjugal relationship and gave Preeti the benefit of presumption that Sumit was indeed the real father of the baby girl born to them.
Other averments in the pleadings attracting ground of cruelty are were that Preeti refused to live in the joint family, treated Sumit and his family with utter disrespect, and even humiliated and manhandled Sumit in front of friends and family.
He further contended that Preeti had denied conjugal relations with him and insisted that they had not had any such relations since August 2012 and Preeti left her matrimonial home eventually in October 2012.
Sumit also submitted that Preeti had a habit of getting up late in the morning and demanding tea and breakfast on her bed.
However, the HC bench comprising Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Pratibha Rani noted that Sumit had also raised these allegations without providing any material evidence to substantiate his claims. He only made these claims but never mentioned exactly when, where and in front of whom Preeti had showed the kind of conduct and uttered words as alleged. He never mentioned the family members or friends who witnessed the humiliating and manhandling incident, and thus his pleadings were held to be vague, baseless and repetitive.
The court observed that the allegation that Preeti refused to live in the joint family was falsified since Sumit was not in commensality with his parents nor any other relative. Thus, the question of Preeti raising an issue of having a problem in living in a joint family did not arise.
The court said: “Qua this pleading we only have to say that it is a case of Sumit blabbering all and sundry without any thought into his utterances.”
Regarding the ground of cruelty where Preeti would get up late and demand tea, the court said:
“The assertion that Preeti would get up late and would want tea to be served to her would at best show that Preeti was lazy, and laziness is not cruelty. The fact that within a year of the marriage, the couple was blessed with a child shows that they shared the bed.”
Finally dealing with the ground where Preeti allegedly denied sex to her husband, the court said:
“The plea that Preeti denied consortium to Sumit after August 2012, even if truth has to be understood in light of the fact that by the third week of May 2012, Preeti was in the family way, the girl child being born to the couple on January 23, 2013. Carrying a foetus in the womb, Preeti would obviously be inconvenienced by sex and assuming she totally shunned sex with the petitioner as her pregnancy grew would not constitute cruelty.”
Thus, the appeal was dismissed upon appreciating all evidence.
Read the Judgment here.
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