The Punjab and Haryana High Court in its order dated May 6, 2022 granted divorce to a man after an appeal was filed by the wife against the judgment and decree of the Family Court in favour of the husband.
The Bench of Justice Ritu Bahri and Justice Ashok Kumar Verma noted that in the present case, enough mental cruelty had been caused to the husband by the acts of the wife, and thus, the Court went on to dismiss her appeal.
The marriage between parties appellant-wife (Harbans Kaur) and respondent-Husband (Joginder Pal) was solemnised in December 1992 as per Hindu rites. The couple went on to have four children.
Initially, the husband filed for divorce under Section 13 of the HMA, citing behaviour of the wife to be very cruel, barbaric, rude and crude towards him from the very beginning. However, a compromise was effected between the parties.
Later, in May 2011, the appellant-wife filed a petition under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, but the same was dismissed. Appeal against the said order was also dismissed.
The wife then went on to file several cases/FIR against her husband under:
- Section 323
- Section 325
- Section 506,
- Section 34
…of the IPC
Many proceedings under Section 107/151 Cr.P.C. were registered against the respondent. The husband, however, was acquitted from all the cases in 2015.
The husband also alleged that his wife had tried to take forcible possession of the agricultural land owned and possessed by him, situated at village Bhola Khalsa, District Karnal and civil suit against the appellant wife was pending in District Courts, Karnal.
Wife Allegedly Living in Adultery
It was the case of the husband, that his wife was living in adultery with some other man since the year 2012 and she had also forcibly turned him out of his own home, along with his four children. Since then, the husband has been living in a rented house and no cohabitation had taken place between them.
The wife also did not attend their daughter’s marriage, taunting her husband that she had no concern for ‘his’ children.
The husband then filed for divorce on grounds of cruelty.
Punjab & Haryana High Court
The High Court cited judgements which were co-related to this case. In one such citing, the Court noted that the Supreme Court had held that even one complaint lodged by the wife found to be false against the husband and his family members amounted to cruelty. The Court remarked,
Even if husband and wife are staying together and husband does not speak to the wife, it would cause mental cruelty and a spouse staying away by sending vulgar and defamatory letters or notices or filing complaints containing indecent allegations or by initiating number of judicial proceedings can make the life of other spouse miserable.
The High Court added,
In the facts of the present case, as per details given above, after the acquittal in the FIR and dismissal of the domestic violence complaint as reflected above, enough mental cruelty has been caused to the husband.
Consequently, the wife’s appeal was dismissed and the husband was granted divorce.
- India still does not have Domestic Violence Law for Men, who suffer at the hands of ‘cruel’ wives
- On the other hand, wives are armed with multiple civil and criminal remedies to fix the husband
- In the case above, despite all cases been proven false, there was no punishment to the wife for making her husband’s life miserable
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