The Delhi High Court, while granting divorce to a husband, observed that character assassination of a spouse amounts to the highest level of cruelty.

The Court noted the ill intentions of the wife to harass the husband and his family by roping them in different litigations after she “committed immense cruelty” by levelling allegations of extra marital affair upon the husband.

Even though the wife had claimed that she tried to persuade the husband to live with her to save their matrimonial bond, the Court noted that she did not prefer a petition under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA) seeking Restitution of Conjugal Rights.

A Division Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna observed, “It is apparent that respondent in public, treated the appellant in such a manner which caused loss to his respect, due to which appellant has suffered immense cruelty at the hands of respondent. It is not only that respondent raised hue and cry at appellant’s workplace but also went to his relative’s place to tarnish his image. Also, respondent did not come with clear hand before the learned Family Court in proceedings under Section 9 of the Act, which brings her intention into clouds.

Advocate G.C. Rawa represented the appellant.

The husband had filed an appeal under Section 19 of the Family Courts Act, 1984 against the judgment of a family court that had dismissed his petition seeking a divorce from his wife under Section 13(1)(ia) of the HMA on the grounds of cruelty.

Despite multiple attempts at reconciliation, including counselling and mediation, the marital discord continued. The husband contended that the wife had made false allegations to tarnish his reputation and ostracize his family from their relatives “thereby causing great mental agony to him and his family.

The wife on the other hand had averred that even during her pregnancy, she was made to do the house-hold chores. The Court remarked that forcefully asking a wife to do house-hold chores “would certainly be cruelty.” However, these allegations were rejected by the Court after the wife admitted that a maid-servant was already hired.

Consequently, the Court dissolved the marriage between the parties under the provisions of Section 13 (1)(ia) of the HMA.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the appeal and set aside the order of the family court.

Cause Title: XYZ v. ABC (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:2203-DB)


Appellant: Advocate G.C. Rawa

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