New Delhi: False allegations of illicit relationship are the ultimate kind of cruelty as they reflect a complete breakdown of trust and faith between spouses without which no matrimonial relationship can survive, the Delhi High Court said on Wednesday while upholding a family court’s order granting divorce to a man on the ground of “immense mental cruelty” by his wife.
The court said denial of cohabitation by a spouse also amounts to severe cruelty.
It said the woman had failed to show any evidence to establish that the man ever had an illicit relationship and added “this is almost like a final nail in the matrimonial relationship”.
“When there is a complete lack of evidence to suggest such an affair, the baseless and reckless allegations are serious actions which can be a cause for mental cruelty warranting a decree of divorce.
“Thus, false allegations of illicit relationship are the ultimate kind of cruelty as it reflects a complete breakdown of trust and faith amongst the spouses without which no matrimonial relationship can survive,” a bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal krishna said.
The high court dismissed the woman’s appeal challenging the family court’s decision granting divorce, saying the trial court’s judgment is well reasoned and based on cogent grounds, and there is no reason to interfere with it.
It said the unrebutted testimony of the husband has proved that the wife used to pick quarrel on trivial issues and adopted adamant attitude even though he tried to make her understand and reason with her.
The high court said it is a known fact that the bedrock of any matrimonial relationship is the conjugal relationship of which cohabitation forms a very strong basis and there is no reason to disbelieve the man’s testimony that the woman used to go away for a period of 15 days to 30 days at times without informing him and that she also withheld herself from cohabitation.
“Any denial of cohabitation by other spouse amounts to severe cruelty. This conduct was compounded by appellant’s (the woman) frequently leaving the matrimonial home. Regular quarrels may be trivial when considered individually, however, collectively, these quarrels on a regular basis can not only disrupt the mental peace but also become a source of mental agony,” the bench said.
The man and the woman had got married in 2009 in Jharkhand and a daughter was born to them in 2010.
The man filed a divorce petition in the family court alleging that his wife use to quarrel on trivial issues and tried to poison him and his parents and also attempted suicide.
He claimed the woman used to leave her matrimonial home for several days without informing anyone and refused to have physical relations with him several times.
The man said his wife had also levelled false allegations about him having extra-marital relations with another woman.
The woman, in her appeal challenging the family court’s decision, contended she was not given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings due to which “true facts” could not be brought on record.
The high court, however, said the service of summons was done through the woman’s father which was a valid service, and there was no explanation for her non-participation in the trial. She cannot claim denial of the principle of natural justice, it said.