The Allahabad High Court observed that the cause of action to seek divorce arises once cruelty is found committed.

The Division Bench of Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh and Justice Shiv Shanker Prasad stated, "Once cruelty is found committed, the cause of action to seek divorce does arise. How the parties may conduct themselves thereafter, may remain a relevant factor."

Also noting that acts of cruelty were not sporadic or singular as may have warranted any further consideration, the Court stated, "Yet, no rule of law may arise as may dictate to the Court to pass an order to restore the matrimonial relationship between the parties, without looking into the other attending circumstances."

The Appellant-Husband had filed the appeal under Section 19 of the Family Courts Act, 1984. The Court upon considering the submissions noted that the Respondent-Wife proved before the Court below that her husband insisted for dowry. The Court also noted that more than that it was proven by the wife that the appellant used to assault her and pressurise her to leave her government job as a police constable and to give money to the appellant.

On the other hand, the husband also levelled serious allegations of adultery against the respondent. The Court further observed that at the same time, the Appellant's brother and sister-in-law stated during their cross-examinations that the father of the appellant was unhappy with the conduct and character of the appellant and consequently the father of the appellant excluded the appellant from his Will. The order addiotnally noted, "The appellant's brother, S testified that the appellant was dissatisfied with the action taken by his brother. The sister-in-law of the appellant, Ms. T further stated that her father-in-law was unhappy with the character of the present appellant."

Finding no merits in the appeal, the Bench observed, "In a summary consideration of the appeal, we first find, the respondent had been able to prove his case of cruelty committed upon the occurrence of repeated physical assault to force the respondent to either leave her government job and / or to give money to the appellant. While no more proof was required to establish the cruelty caused, the defence witnesses who are close family members of the present appellant clearly corroborated the allegation of bad character of the appellant by stating, owing to such bad character and conduct of the appellant, his father excluded him from his Will. That being the statement of the defence witnesses, we find no error on part of the learned court below in finding that allegation of cruelty thus made, was proved."

While on the aspect of allegations against the wife of adultery, the Court observed that such allegations were never proved and this may itself amount to cruelty. The Court in its order stated, "Similarly, once the act of cruelty committed was found established, the learned court below has not erred in refusing to act on the plea of the appellant that the matrimonial relationship between the parties be restored subject to the appellant not raising demand of dowry etc."

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Appeal.

Cause Title: X vs Y [FIRST APPEAL No. - 1360 of 2023]

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