“Every Person…”: Court Upholds Man’s Divorce Over Cruelty By Wife

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Every person is entitled to live with dignity and honour and no one is expected to live with constant abuse being hurled upon him, the Delhi High Court has held while upholding the divorce decree granted to a man on the ground of cruelty by his estranged wife.
The high court dismissed an appeal filed by the woman challenging the family court’s order granting divorce and said there was no infirmity in the findings of the trial court that the man has been treated with cruelty.

“We are also satisfied that the cruelty that has been proved on record is sufficient and constitutes cruelty as required under Section 13(1)(i-a) of the Hindu Marriage Act. Consequently, we find no infirmity in the judgment allowing the petition and granting divorce on the ground of cruelty. We, accordingly, find no merit in the appeal. The appeal is consequently, dismissed,” a bench of Justices Sanjeev Sachdeva and Vikas Mahajan said.

The high court said the conduct of the wife which has been proved on record is of such quality, magnitude and impact as would have caused mental agony, pain, anger and suffering to the husband on a regular and continuous basis and thus clearly amounting to cruelty.

“Every person is entitled to live with dignity and honour. If the words as stated… are used against an individual, the same would be very derogatory and humiliating for the individual. The contention of the husband is that whenever there was a quarrel, the wife would use the words and humiliate him and his family.

“Repeated use of words of the nature as extracted… are clearly humiliating and would certainly amount to cruelty. No person can be expected to live with constant abuse being hurled upon him,” the bench said.

It also rejected the contention of the woman’s counsel that specific dates and time as to when the alleged cruelty has taken place were not mentioned.
The high court said this would lose its significance as the man, in his evidence, has stated that whenever a quarrel would take place the woman would use those words against him and his family, which implies that those words have been used repeatedly over the period when they were together.

The woman challenged the family court’s order saying the allegations of cruelty are unsubstantiated and that there are no dates mentioned as to when the alleged cruelty had taken place.

In its July 2022 order, the family court had noted that the man had proved the allegations of cruelty and held that the woman’s behaviour was not cordial towards her in-laws and husband and that she used to abuse them.

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