4 Nov 2022 4:41 AM GMT
The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently observed that a wife's mere act of meeting or roaming with a person other than the husband does not constitute adultery. With this, the bench of Justice Vivek Rusia and Justice Amar Nath (Kesharwani) upheld an order of the Family court dismissing an application filed under section 13(1)(1)(1a) of the Hindu Marriage Act by the husband on the grounds...
The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently observed that a wife's mere act of meeting or roaming with a person other than the husband does not constitute adultery.
With this, the bench of Justice Vivek Rusia and Justice Amar Nath (Kesharwani) upheld an order of the Family court dismissing an application filed under section 13(1)(1)(1a) of the Hindu Marriage Act by the husband on the grounds of cruelty and adultery.
"It is a settled law that mere roaming along with any male other than the husband does not constitute a presumption of adultery against the wife. There must be direct evidence to establish that she was seen in a compromising position or adultery with other than her husband then only the charge of adultery can be said to have been established. Merely meeting or roaming with a person other than the husband does not constitute adultery, therefore, the trial Court has rightly held that the allegation of cruelty has not been established," the Court remarked.
The case in brief
In this case, the Husband had filed a divorce plea before the family court seeking the dissolution of the marriage on the ground of adultery and cruelty. It was his allegation that his wife/respondent is residing with another person. She assaulted his mother for which an FIR was lodged against her, therefore, he is entitled to divorce on the ground of adultery and cruelty.
To prove the allegations of adultery, the husband submitted that he saw his wife going to the house of a man. He also examined 3 other witnesses to establish that they also saw the respondent/wife along with the said person on several occasions.
It was further argued by him that his wife was denied the maintenance under section 125 Cr.P.C as the court had doubted her character.
On the other hand, the wife filed a written statement disputing the allegations. She stated that her husband/appellant herein was interested in the second marriage, therefore, he deserted her. She also made a categorical submission that she is still willing to reside with him as a wife and to perform the marital obligations.
High Court's observations
At the outset, the Court stressed that the wife's mere act to meet or roam with another person won't amount to adultery. Further, the Court also refused to take into account the findings recorded by the trial court (regarding the character of the wife) while deciding the application under section 125 Cr.P.C.
"The proceedings under section 125 CrPC are summary proceedings where the allegation and counter allegation are not liable to be established beyond reasonable doubt and only desertion or inability to maintain are liable to be examined, therefore, the trial Court has rightly rejected the aforesaid application and we also do not find any substance in that ground raised by the appellant," the Court added.
So far the cruelty in respect of the registration of criminal case concerned, that was filed by the mother of the appellant against the wife, the Court noted that in the case, the wife has been given the benefit of the Probation of Offenders Act, therefore, that does not constitute cruelty against the appellant.
Hence, the Court did not find any ground for interference in the impugned judgment. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.
Case title - Veeram v. Shaitan bai [F.A.No.355/2004]
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (MP) 247
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