SUPREME COURT OF INDIA – THE STATEMENTS AND ACTS WHICH CONSTITUTES AN ACT OF CRUELTY FOR SUSTAINING THE CLAIM FOR DIVORCE
Supreme Court of India
Date of Judgement: 06.10.2016
FACTS OF THE CASE:-
The reason for filing the divorce petition was that the wife had become cruel because of her highly suspicious nature and she used to level absolutely frivolous but serious allegations against Husband regarding his character and more particularly about his extra-marital relationship. Behaviour of the wife made life of the husband miserable and it became impossible for the Husband to stay with the wife for the aforestated reasons. Moreover, the wife wanted the Husband to leave his parents and other family members and to get separated from them so that the wife can live independently; and in that event it would become more torturous for the Appellant/Husband to stay only with the Respondent/wife with her such nature and behaviour. The main ground was cruelty, as serious allegations were levelled about the moral character of the Appellant/Husband to the effect that he was having an extra-marital affair with a maid. Another important allegation was that the wife would very often threaten the Appellant/Husband that she would commit suicide. In fact, on 2th July, 1995, she picked up a quarrel with the Appellant/Husband, went to the bathroom, locked the door from inside and poured kerosene on her body and attempted to commit suicide. On getting smell of kerosene coming from the bathroom, the Appellant/Husband, his elder brother and some of the neighbours broke open the door of the bathroom and prevented the Respondent/wife from committing suicide. The aforestated facts were found to be sufficient by the Court for granting the Husband a decree of divorce.
The persistent effort of the wife to constrain the Husband to be separated from the family would be torturous for the husband and this constitutes an act of ‘cruelty’. [Para 11 of the Judgement]
The unsubstantiated allegations levelled by the wife and the threats and attempt to commit suicide by her amounted to mental cruelty and therefore, the marriage deserves to be dissolved by a decree of divorce on this ground. [Para 14 of the Judgement]