Serious and unsubstantiated allegations of adultery amount to cruelty offering a ground for divorce

Himachal Pradesh High Court– While deciding the present divorce matter wherein repeated false and frivolous allegation of adultery were made by the appellant wife against the respondent husband, a bench of Sanjay Karol, J., held that the said allegations were made out of vengeance and were unverified and unsubstantiated. The Court dismissed the appeal made by wife and further held that the false allegations of adultery made by the appellant were not unintentional and have affected the respondent’s reputation in the society, thus amounting to cruelty.

According to the facts, appellant got married to the respondent and two children were born out of the wedlock. But with time incompatibility prompted the parties to live separately. The appellant made allegations that the respondent was having illicit relationship with his sister-in-law which were repeated in a petition filed by the appellant under Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure. However, the respondent husband claimed that the allegations which were false have caused grave mental cruelty and the marriage has broken out irretrievably. The husband filed for divorce on such grounds.

While deciding, the Court referred to Vijaykumar Ramchandra Bhate v. Neela Vijaykumar Bhate, (2003) 6 SCC 334 where it was noted that conscious and deliberate statement delivered with pungency placed on record through pleadings cannot be ignored lightly or brushed aside while determining acts of cruelty in a petition for divorce. The Court while upholding the decision of the Trial Court of granting divorce on account of cruelty, observed that as there is reasonable doubt in the mind of the respondent that it would be harmful to live with his wife any further. Moreover, he cannot be expected to live with his wife due to the serious and unsubstantiated allegations of adultery amounting to cruelty. Monika Sharma v. Kuldeep Kumar Dogra2015 SCC OnLine HP 1856,  decided on 31.07.2015

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