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'Extreme cruelty,' Delhi HC dismisses woman's plea against divorce for calling husband a womaniser [Read Judgment]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      26 December, 2023 06:06 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has said it would be an act of "extreme cruelty" for a man, if his wife indulged in public harassment, humiliation and verbal attack against him and went to the extent of terming him as womaniser in his office.

A bench of Justices Neena Krishna Bansal and Suresh Kumar Kait said allegations about the manhood of a person would not only be depressive but also mentally traumatic for any person to accept. 

"It is no more res integra that such reckless, defamatory, humiliating and unsubstantiated allegations by one spouse, which has the impact of publically tarnishing the image of the other spouse, is nothing but acts of extreme cruelty," the bench said.

The court rejected an appeal filed by the woman against decree of divorce granted to her by the Family Court after finding her allegations of impotency and forcing him to undergo impotency test were other acts of mental cruelty.

In the present case, the bench said the appellant always had doubts on the fidelity of her husband which necessarily led to harassment resulting in mental cruelty to the husband, it said.

"The strongest pillars on which any marriage stands is trust, faith and respect, and thus, no person can reasonably be expected to put with such disrespectful conduct of their "significant other" who lacks faith in her partner. Any spouse not only expects their partner to respect them but also envisions that in times of need, the spouse would act as a shield to protect their image and reputation," the bench said.

"Unfortunately, here is a case where the husband himself is being publicly harassed, humiliated and verbally-attacked by his wife, who had gone to the extent of levelling allegation of infidelity during his office meetings in front of all his office staff/guests. She even took to harassing the woman workers of his office and left no stone unturned to portray him as a womaniser in the office," the bench added.

Further, the court noted the woman's candid admissions that she has alienated the child from the respondent and the grandparents.

"To compound all her acts, she used the child as a weapon and has totally alienated him from the respondent. All these acts which happened in a span of about six years that they spent together, proved that the respondent was subjected to cruelty and harassment which is sufficient to create mental agony and trauma in his mind to the extent that he at times even thought of committing suicide. The acts of the appellant, as proved, can only be termed as acts of cruelty towards the respondent," the bench said.

The man and woman got married on February 28, 2000. However, the marriage could survive barely six years as litigation started between them in 2006. A son was also born to them in 2004.

The man approached the family court which granted him divorce on the ground of cruelty.

On the woman's appeal, the bench noted that the wife, for her part, alleged her husband of visiting the brothels and whores. She also claimed he has an illegitimate relationship outside the marriage.

The court found the appellant was in a habit of bad mouthing him. She would speak about her household affairs and discussed her personal life with outsiders and would tell that the respondent's mother beats her; the respondent had extramarital affair; his family had taken dowry; he suffered from impotency and he had forced the respondent for an abortion.

In the present case as well, the child has not only been totally alienated, but has also been used as a weapon against the father. Nothing can be more painful for a parent to see the child drifting away and being totally against the father. This assumes some significance in the light that the father never failed to provide as required for the child, the bench said.

"Nothing more can be more painful than experiencing one's own flesh and blood i.e., the child, rejecting him or her. Such wilful alienation of the child by a parent amounts to mental cruelty to the other parent," the bench said.


[Read Judgment]

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