Husband viewed wife as cash cow: Delhi High Court dissolves marriage

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The Delhi High Court recently dissolved a marriage between a woman working with the Delhi Police and her labourer husband, while observing that the latter viewed her only as a cash cow and became interested in her only after she secured a job (Sanno Kumari v. Krishan Kumar).

In doing so, the Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh set aside a January 2020 order of a family court which had refused to grant the woman a divorce decree on the grounds of cruelty and desertion.

“The respondent harassed the appellant to pocket her income, since he was himself unemployed. The respondent, it appears, viewed the appellant as a cash cow and became interested in her only after she got the job with the Delhi Police,” the order stated.

The marriage was solemnised in December 2000 when the appellant woman was only 13 years old, while the respondent husband was 19. Even though the woman attained maturity in March 2005, she kept residing at her parental home till November 2014, when she secured a job with the Delhi Police.

The woman told the Court that even though her parents had been asking the husband to take her to her matrimonial home soon after she turned 18, he refused to do so. It was only after she secured a job that he took her home, since she had a stable income. She started living with him in November 2014 and claimed that he was an alcoholic and would often beat her.

It was alleged that in March 2015, the husband asked her for ₹1 lakh, and when she refused, he once again beat her up. She added that she was subject to repeated physical and verbal abuse until she was kicked out of her matrimonial home in April.

The husband, however, claimed that he had funded her education and it was because of him that she got a job with the Delhi Police.

The Court noted that even though she had become a major in 2005, the woman kept living with her parents, and therefore, her education was funded by them. It went on to note that the conduct of the husband amounted to cruelty.

“Such brazenly materialistic attitude of the respondent, with no emotional ties, would have in itself caused mental agony and trauma to the appellant sufficient to constitute cruelty to her. We cannot ignore, that generally it is the desire of every married woman – particularly belonging to the economic strata to which the parties belong, to get married and start a family. However, in the case in hand, it appears the respondent was not interested in nurturing the marriage, but only interested in the appellant’s income.”

It added that in matrimonial matters, the quality and quantity of evidence required to accept the plea cannot be the same as what is required in criminal proceedings.

“Standard of proof in matrimonial proceedings is founded upon the preponderance of probabilities, and not upon a fact being established beyond all reasonable doubts. Looking to the overall circumstances, we are of the considered view that the appellant was able to establish the ground of cruelty and desertion,” the Court held.

The Court thus found that the woman was able to establish the ground of cruelty and desertion and that a clear case of perpetration of mental cruelty was established against the husband. It thus set aside the order of the family court and dissolved the marriage between the two.

Read Order here:

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