The Delhi High Court has dissolved a marriage between a Hindu couple, saying that the wife filed a false criminal complaint against her husband which caused him immense mental cruelty and agony.
A bench headed by Justice Vipin Sanghi said that false allegations in the present case amounted to “a clear and categorical character assassination” of the husband, as well as his family members.
It said that the wife did “everything to get the appellant and his family entrapped in the criminal case.”
The bench, that comprised Justice Jasmeet Singh, set aside a family court order that refused to grant divorce to the couple, stating that the family court ignored that visiting a police station must have caused mental harassment and trauma to the husband who did not know when a case would be registered against him and he would be arrested.
The husband, represented by lawyer Sumeet Verma, had filed an appeal against the family court order and submitted that the complaint before the CAW cell was a counterblast to his petition seeking restitution of conjugal rights.
The marriage between the parties was solemnized in May 2008.
The court noted that after nearly two years of leaving the matrimonial home, and three years of the marriage, the wife had filed a complaint before the crime against women (CAW) Cell alleging dowry demands, abuse, physical and mental torture and harassment, amongst other cruelties, and all these allegations remained unsubstantiated.
“The appellant (husband) had to make 30-40 visits to the police station in connection with the said complaint. A police station is not the best of places for anyone to visit.
“It must have caused mental harassment and trauma each time he was required to visit the police station, with the Damocles Sword hanging over his head, and he not knowing when a case would be registered against him and he would be arrested,” the court said in a recent order.
“The respondent-wife filed an unsubstantiated criminal complaint against the Appellant and his family members which caused them immense mental cruelty and agony,” the court stated.
Noting that the wife also failed to justify not returning to the matrimonial home and cohabiting with the husband, the court opined that the appellant was “able to make out a case of being subjected to cruelty and desertion”.
The order further said that it did not agree with the family court’s view that the burden of proving that he and his family had not subjected the wife to harassment or cruelty for dowry lay with the husband, and such an approach was “palpably wrong and against all canons of justice and fair play”.
The court opined that the relations between the parties were “sufficiently beyond repair”.
The parties have not lived together for the last 12 years and “insistence to continue this relationship would only be inflicting further cruelty upon both the parties”, it said.
“Continuous separation between the parties for a long period should itself be a ground for divorce itself,” it said.
“The marital discord between the parties at present is such that there is a complete loss of faith, trust, understanding and love between the parties.
“The conduct of the Respondent has been such as to cause great mental anguish to the Appellant, and the parties cannot be reasonably expected to live with each other anymore,” the court added.