The Delhi High Court in its judgment dated January 09, 2024 observed that if a wife attempts suicide and then tries to put the blame on her husband and his family members, the same amounts to an act of “extreme cruelty.”
Accordingly, the High Court granted divorce to the husband under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
The parties got married in March 2007, however, in July 2007, the wife deserted her husband within just four months of the marriage alleging dowry harassment. In November 2007, a daughter was born out of the wedlock.
The wife’s uncle too filed a false case of car theft, in which the husband had to secure anticipatory bail.
Later, the wife filed another complaint against the husband, accusing him of already being married while marrying her, and thus she sought annulment of the marriage. In August 2009, the wife withdrew this complaint stating that she had been misinformed on the matter.
After withdrawal of criminal complaints by wife, the couple started living together again in their matrimonial home. In October 2009, the wife also withdrew her complaints from CAW (Crime Against Women) Cell.
However, in December 2009, after several failed attempts of living together as a family, the husband filed a case of divorce on grounds of cruelty by wife.
In 2018, after almost 9-years of separation, the wife had initiated proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act against the husband.
Allegations by Husband (Suicide Attempt by Wife)
In the second stint of co-habitation, both parties lived together until December 2009, where the wife continued her acts of cruelty against the husband and his family. On Dec 5, 2009, the wife tried to commit suicide by consuming liquid mosquito repellent while the husband was away at work. She was rushed to the hospital by the neighbours and given a stomach wash, where she survived.
At this point in time, the wife absolved the husband and in-laws from being charged as accused in the matter. Within a week of this incident, the wife left the matrimonial home and the husband filed for divorce accusing her of cruelty.
Defense by Wife
The appellant wife had asserted that she was treated with utmost cruelty and was made to do the entire household work without providing her with proper food. She was also taunted and abused for not having brought sufficient dowry.
The appellant further asserted that she lived under the constant threat and fear of her life because of the abuses and mental torture to which she was subjected by the respondent and his family members. Some more allegations on the husband, in-laws:
- She was locked in the house and was not allowed to talk to anyone or to make phone calls
- She was also threatened by the respondent and his family members that if their demands were not met, she would be killed and her family would suffer from adverse consequences
- Ultimately, she escaped from the matrimonial home to save her life. She was also left with no option but to withdraw her petition under Section 11 of HMA and also other complaints that had been filed by her
With regards to the suicide attempt, the wife now informed court:
In respect of the incident of poisoning, the appellant had asserted that she was not being provided with the proper diet, and that she was administered Allout liquid by the respondent on the pretext of it being a nutritious tonic. She was merely unconscious after drinking the liquid. The respondent tried to make up a false case of suicide only to save himself. She, therefore, claimed that it was she who was subjected to cruelty and the respondent is not entitled to divorce.
Family Court, Delhi
In 2016, the Family Court concluded that the husband was indeed treated with cruelty by his wife. The Court observed,
The appellant wife in her testimony had admitted that she had consumed the poison i.e. Allout liquid on her own and at the relevant time the respondent was at his place of work. She also admitted having written the suicide note.
After going through evidences from both sides on multiple cases filed, the learned Family Judge, therefore, concluded that the respondent husband had been treated with cruelty and the divorce was granted. This was challenged by the wife in High Court.
Delhi High Court
A division bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna upheld the decree of divorce granted by a family court, in a divorce petition moved by the husband.
At the outset, the bench observed that during the two years of their matrimonial life, the parties barely resided together for ten months and even during that time, there were various acts of the cruelty of being subjected to false complaints and civil as well as criminal litigation committed by the wife towards the husband based on her unsubstantiated allegations arising from misinformation. The bench said:
What more can be traumatic than being driven to seek protection from arrest on the unsubstantiated allegations. It reflects that from the beginning of their matrimonial life, there was no trust and faith, rather he was even suspected of committing theft of a car which had been gifted to them at the time of marriage.
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Suicide Attempt by Wife
The bench noted that the wife, after consuming a mosquito repellent liquid in an attempt to commit suicide, even wrote a note stating that her husband and in-laws were good people who had given her love and affection but she was unable to reciprocate the same sentiments, thereby completely exonerated them from her attempt to commit suicide. The Court observed:
The appellant, however, in her testimony tried to wriggle out of her own admissions and suicide note by claiming that she was compelled to write the suicide note.
She, however, admitted in her cross-examination that at the time of her attempting suicide in the noon, her husband was not even present as he was at his place of work.
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Upholding the decree of divorce to the husband, the High Court concluded:
Such conduct of the appellant in attempting suicide and then trying to put the blame on the husband and his family members is an act of extreme cruelty as the family remanded under constant threat of being implicated in false cases.
The High Court also added,
Another case under the Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act was filed in the year 2018 despite the separation of more than nine years.
The appellant, no doubt has a legal right to take recourse for the wrong that may have been committed but making unsubstantiated allegations of having been subjected to dowry demands or acts of cruelty by the respondent or his family members, and getting criminal trials initiated against the respondent are clearly acts of cruelty.
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READ JUDGMENT | Wife Attempting Suicide & Trying To Put Blame On Husband, In-laws Amounts To Cruelty: Delhi HC— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) January 16, 2024
▪️Mar 2007: Marriage
▪️Jul 2007: Wife left, filed complaints
▪️Dec 2009: Husband files divorce
▪️Jan 2024: HC upholds divorce#VoiceForMenhttps://t.co/ZZJI4xh50l
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