The Bombay High Court observed that lodging false and baseless reports with the police authorities against the husband and in-laws by the wife amounts to cruelty.

The Aurangabad Bench observed thus in a second appeal filed under Section 100 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) by a woman who was dissatisfied with the judgment and decree of the District Judge.

A Single Bench of Justice Y.G. Khobragade held, “In the case in hand it is evident that, the Respondent-wife lodged proceedings under the provisions of the D.V. Act, 2005 and also filed petition for restitution of conjugal rights. No doubt, initiating proceeding under the D.V. Act and Restitution of conjugal right do not by itself constitute cruelty, but lodging of various false, baseless reports with the Police Authorities against the petitioner, his father, brother, and brother-in-law (husband of Petitioner’s sister) and instituting Civil proceeding showing herself as wife of P. W. 2 certainly falls within the ambit of cruelty in view of M vs M and Roopa Soni; cited supra.”

Advocate B.S. Phad appeared on behalf of the appellant while Advocate Prashant K. Nikam appeared on behalf of the respondent.

Factual Background -

The respondent (husband) had filed a plea and prayed for a decree of divorce against the appellant (wife) under Section 13(1)(i-a) and 13 (1-A)(ii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA). The marriage between the parties was solemnised in 2004 and after marriage, the wife cohabited with the husband in joint family. A girl child was born out the wedlock and the relations between the two were good till 2012. However, the wife quarrelled with the husband on the ground that she did not wish to cohabit with him. Thereafter, she along with the daughter, left his house and visited her parental house and since then, deserted him. She then filed various proceedings including false criminal complaints against the husband and his family members and caused physical and mental cruelty against him.

The husband, therefore, prayed for the divorce decree on account of cruelty, desertion, and denial of restitution of conjugal rights. The wife did not appear before the Judicial Magistrate First Class and hence, the proceeding was dismissed for non-prosecution. She rather prayed for restitution of conjugal right and in 2015, the Civil Judge passed the decree in her favour. However, as per her, the husband left her without giving any intimation and hence, she lodged a missing complaint. The issue came before the Trial Court and it dissolved their marriage. Being aggrieved by this, she approached the First Appellate Court but it also confirmed the judgment of the Trial Court. Hence, she was before the High Court.

The High Court in the above context of the case noted, “On perusal of record, it appears that both the Courts below recorded concurrent findings by holding that there was cruelty on part of Respondent-wife against Petitioner-husband and thereby rightly granted decree of dissolution of marriage. The findings recorded by both the Courts below is certainly based on evidence and law. Therefore, I am of the view that the evidence available on record is rightly appreciated by the learned First Appellate Court and there is no perversity or illegality in the same.”

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the second appeal.

Cause Title- ABC v. XYZ (Neutral Citation: 2024:BHC-AUG:8748)

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