Husband Subjecting Wife To Creditors' Action By Misusing Her Signed Cheques Constitutes 'Cruelty': Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber

12 Sep 2023 7:30 AM GMT

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  • Husband Subjecting Wife To Creditors Action By Misusing Her Signed Cheques Constitutes Cruelty: Karnataka High Court

    The Karnataka High Court has dismissed the appeal preferred by a man challenging a family court order which allowed the divorce petition filed by his wife on grounds of cruelty, since he made her face criminal proceedings initiated by creditors from whom he borrowed money by issuing cheques in her name, for meeting his lifestyle and addictions. A Division bench of Justice G Narendar and...

    The Karnataka High Court has dismissed the appeal preferred by a man challenging a family court order which allowed the divorce petition filed by his wife on grounds of cruelty, since he made her face criminal proceedings initiated by creditors from whom he borrowed money by issuing cheques in her name, for meeting his lifestyle and addictions.

    A Division bench of Justice G Narendar and Justice Vijaykumar A Patil said,

    The appellant-husband in his written statement and evidence has only denied the allegations of cruelty however, he has not taken any stand with regard to using of signed cheques of the respondent-wife, which clearly goes to show that the appellant-husband has made the respondent-wife a scapegoat and made her to face criminal proceedings initiated by his creditors.

    It added “These acts of the appellant-husband have caused humiliation and mental cruelty, which have been properly pleaded and proved by respondent-wife before the Family Court.

    The couple got married in 2003 and the wife alleged that the husband was addicted to gambling, betting, consuming liquor and his earnings were not sufficient to meet his lifestyle. Due to financial constraints, he allegedly started harassing the respondent-wife physically and mentally for money.

    It was claimed that the husband used to handle her bank account and he obtained a loan to the tune of Rs.15.00 to 20.00 Lakhs by misusing the wife's signed blank cheques. Following which strangers started visiting the matrimonial home for demand of money from the respondent-wife. Thus, the respondent-wife had filed a petition seeking for dissolution of marriage on the ground of cruelty.

    On the contrary, the husband claimed that he neither asked the respondent-wife for her signed blank cheques nor he had borrowed Rs.15.00 to 20.00 Lakhs as alleged.

    The family court on consideration of the evidence of the witnesses and considering the averments allowed the petition filed by the wife.

    In appeal, the husband argued that respondent-wife failed to prove grounds of cruelty by proper pleading and evidence, despite the same, the Family Court proceeded to dissolve the marriage without considering the efforts made by the appellant-husband to bring back the respondent-wife to matrimonial home.

    The court on going through the records said, “It is pleaded that the appellant-husband has taken the jewellery of respondent wife and pledged to meet his expenses; however, he continued his torture to respondent-wife and insisted for more money, hence she used to secure money from her parents and used to meet the demands of her husband. The appellant has admitted that the jewellery are pledged for the purpose of his business. However, it is not forthcoming from the evidence what business the appellant was carrying on, when he has got back the pledged jewellery and given it to the respondent-wife. This conduct of the appellant-husband establishes that he was in need of money for his personal habits, as alleged by the wife.

    Noting that the husband used to operate the bank account of the wife and he has given blank signed cheques of respondent-wife to the creditors without her knowledge and the creditors used to visit the matrimonial home and insist the respondent-wife for repayment of loan amount, the bench expressed, “The appellant has not produced any cogent evidence to disbelieve the allegation of the respondent-wife.

    Court noted that the Family Court had recorded a categorical finding that the respondent, being the housewife, has neither utilised the loan amount nor she has utilised the sale consideration amount received for sale of immovable property and it is the appellant-husband, who has made use of the said amount and made the respondent-wife to suffer. "The said finding of the Family Court is based on the documentary evidence which are also corroborated with the oral testimony,” Court said.

    Accordingly, it held that the finding of Family Court that the appellant-husband has caused mental cruelty to wife is based on material on record and do not call for interference.

    Appearance: Advocate MUJTABA H for Appellant.

    Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 351

    Case Title: ABC And XYZ

    Case No: MISCELLANEOUS FIRST APPEAL NO.4402 OF 2017 (FC) C/W MISCELLANEOUS FIRST APPEAL NO.4403 OF 2017

    Date of Order: 02-08-2023

    Click Here To Read/Download Order

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