Labelling hubby womaniser is cruelty: HC | India News

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MUMBAI: Observing that a wife’s labelling of her husband as a womaniser and alcoholic had shredded his reputation in society, the Bombay High Court upheld a family court’s order that dissolved their marriage.
Justices Nitin Jamdar and Sharmila Deshmukh on October 12 dismissed the 2006 appeal of the wife against the Pune FC’s November 2005 order. While her appeal was pending, the husband died and his legal heir was brought on record in his place.
The judges noted that the FC’s order was based on the wife’s “unsubstantiated” allegations – that he was constantly under influence of liquor, out late at night and on some pretext visited her sister. Her sister only deposed that he drank liquor. “The evidence on record produced by the petitioner fails to prove the allegations made by her in pleadings,” they said.
In his evidence before FC, the husband stated she separated him from his children and grandchildren, defamed him and due to her conduct “his marital and social life has been completely destroyed.”
The judges noted that in February 2002, when the husband’s divorce plea was dismissed, the same allegations were not held to constitute cruelty as he did not say he suffered mental torture due to them. In the appeal, he made a specific case that she had defamed him by her false and baseless allegation causing him mental agony.
“It is a settled position in law that ‘cruelty’ can broadly be defined as a conduct which inflicts upon the other party such mental pain and suffering as would make it not possible for that other party to live with the other,” the judges said. They noted that the husband was “a retired army major” and the wife’s petition said he “belongs to the upper strata of society and has a standing” in society.
“…the petitioner has repeatedly made allegations assassinating his character in both rounds of litigation and failed to prove them. The conduct of the petitioner in continuing to make unwarranted, false and baseless allegations pertaining to the respondent’s character labelling him as an alcoholic and womaniser has resulted in shredding his reputation,” the judges said. They added that the husband’s stand that he could not continue with the matrimonial relationship “cannot be said to be unjustified.” They concluded that the wife’s “conduct constitutes cruelty” under the Hindu Marriage Act.

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