The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently dismissed an appeal preferred by a woman against the judgment and decree of the Family Court whereby her husband's petition seeking dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce had been allowed and he had been granted a divorce.
The Bench of Justice Ritu Bahri and Justice Ashok Kumar Verma noted that in the instant case, enough mental cruelty had been caused to the husband by the acts of the wife, and thus, the Court went on to dismiss her appeal.
The case in brief
The marriage of appellant-wife (Harbans Kaur) was solemnized with respondent-Husband (Joginder Pal) in December 1992. In May 2011, the appellant-wife filed a petition under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, and the same was dismissed. Appeal against the said order was also dismissed.
The Appellant-wife also got registered an FIR under Sections 323, 325, 506, and 34 IPC against the respondent-husband but in that case, he was acquitted.
In his petition seeking a divorce, the Husband stated that the wife had tried to take forcible possession of the agricultural land owned and possessed by him, and presently, a civil suit against the appellant is pending in District Courts, Karnal.
It was further alleged that the appellant-wife was living in adultery with some person in the year 2012 and she forcibly turned out the respondent along with his four children from the house.
Since then, the husband has been living in a rented house and no cohabitation had taken place between them. Further, when the marriage of their daughter was fixed by the respondent-husband, he requested the wife to join the marriage but she taunted that she had no concern with the respondent and his children.
Against this backdrop, the divorce petition was filed by the Husband.
At the outset, the Court noted that the Supreme Court had held that even one complaint lodged by the wife found to be false against the husband and his family members amounted to cruelty.
"Even if husband and wife are staying together and husband does not speak to the wife, it would cause mental cruelty and a spouse staying away by sending vulgar and defamatory letters or notices or filing complaints containing indecent allegations or by initiating number of judicial proceedings can make the life of other spouse miserable," the Court added.
Further, the Court, taking into account the facts of the case, noted that after the acquittal in the FIR and dismissal of the domestic violence complaint against the Husband, it could be said that enough mental cruelty had been caused to him. Consequently, the wife's appeal was dismissed.
Case title: Harbans Kaur v. Joginder Pal [FAO-M-272 of 2017]
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 107