Uttarakhand High Court: “Mental cruelty is no less than physical cruelty”

Uttarakhand HC
News Indian Express

Synopsis: A Bench Division rejected an appeal filed against the decision of the Principal Judge, Family Court.

Recently, the Uttarakhand High Court ruled that a woman who induces mental cruelty to the husband, is a legal ground for marriage divorce, because mental cruelty is no less than physical cruelty.

A Bench of Justice Division Ravi Vijaykumar Malimath and Justice Narayan Singh Dhanik heard an appeal filed by wife against a divorce decree issued by the lower court on the grounds of the wife’s cruelty to her husband.

Hindu Marriage Act

The marital dispute involves Rajesh Gaur and Anita Gaur who, according to Hindu customs and ceremonies, got married on 12 May 1999 and had two children. In June 2014 the husband filed a complaint against the wife seeking a divorce decree on the basis of cruelty under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act.

According to the husband, there was a sudden shift in his wife’s actions about five years ago and some precious objects, jewellery, currency, etc. from the house started missing. Few years later, he started receiving telephone calls of people asking him either to return the money else he would be kidnapped. The husband alleged his wife also confessed that she had borrowed money on interest @10 percent a month and had bought on credit ornaments and clothing. After getting continuous threats he decided to go back to Dehradun with his wife. A Panchayat was then held in the village where his wife admitted her mistakes in writing.

When the husband filed for divorce, the wife refuted claims of the husband, saying that her husband was harassing her. She filed a complaint against him in the Woman Cell, and also brought a case against him under Section 494, Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The Court, based on the evidence passed a decree of divorce and held that the acts alleged by the husband against his wife qualified to come under the category of cruelty.

The High Court upheld the order of the Family Court and a dismissed the wife’s appeal against the decree of divorce.


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