Husband Treating Wife As Cash Cow Without Any Emotional Attachment Is Sufficient Ground To Constitute Cruelty – Karnataka High Court
Quoting the celebrated judgment of the Apex Court in the case of Dastane v. Dastane (AIR 1975 SC 1534) where the Bench had observed that divorce on the ground of cruelty has to be of such character so at to cause in the mind of the petitioner a reasonable apprehension that it will be harmful or injurious for the petitioner to live with the Respondent, the Karnataka High Court held that husband treating the wife as a cash cow without any emotional attachment is sufficient ground to constitute cruelty.
The Division Bench of Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice J.M. Khazi observed that the Appellant-Wife had spent Rs. 60 lacs on her husband however, the Respondent treated her as a cash cow and had a materialistic attitude towards her.
In this case, an appeal was preferred by the Appellant-wife under Section 55(1) of the Indian Divorce Act assailing the judgment of a Family Court in which the Writ Petition under Section 10 of the Act seeking dissolution of marriage on the ground of cruelty was dismissed.
The Appellant pleaded before the Court that the family of the Respondent had financial issues, which led to fights and arguments between the parties. The Respondent was unable to take care of the financial needs of the Appellant. The Appellant then took up a job in UAE and started to pay of the debts of the family of the Respondent. The Respondent however failed to be financially independent and instead of taking care of the financial needs of the Appellant was dependent on her.
The Appellant further alleged that the Respondent and his family were draining her financially as well as emotionally. Thus, the Appellant sought divorce but the Respondent refused. The Appellant then with the object of giving her marriage another chance, took the Respondent top UAE and set up a salon there with an investor visa but the efforts failed.
The High Court noted that the standard of proof in case of matrimonial dispute pertaining to cruelty cannot be said to be applicable as is applicable in the case of trial in CrPC.
The Bench further placed reliance Mayadevi v. Jagdish Prasad where it was held that the parties to the dispute are required to describe the measure and standard of cruelty and to lead cogent evidence to succeed in the plea of dissolution of marriage on the ground of cruelty.
The Court further held that the Respondent had no emotional ties with the Appellant. The attitude of the Respondent in itself has caused mental agony and emotional trauma to the Appellant which is sufficient to make out a ground of mental cruelty.
Furthermore, the Bench held, "The Family Court has grossly erred in not appreciating the version of the Appellant and it ought to have been appreciated the testimony of the Appellant was not even put to cross examination. Therefore, there is no convincing reason not to accept the uncontroverted testimony of the Appellant. Thus, on the ground for dissolution of marriage on the ground of cruelty as provided under Section 10(X) of the Act is made out."
Thus, the Court set aside the impugned judgment and decree of the Family Court and dissolved the marriage between the parties under Section 10(X) of the Act, and allowed the appeal.