Patna High Court: ‘Cruelty’ amounts to filing of dubious accusations by a wife against the husband

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A bench of Justices Navaniti Prasad Singh and Vikash Jain of the Patna High Court held that accusations that are dubious in nature alleged by the respondent against her the plaintiff would tantamount to ‘cruelty’.

In the present case the couple married for twenty years but failed to cohabit peacefully as man and wife. The respondent had filed numerous cases criminal in nature against the plaintiff. However the plaintiff was exonerated in all the cases. The respondent in turn filed revision petitions against such exoneration's and even filed a plea for restitution of conjugal rights and opposed the divorce plea filed by the plaintiff. These constant fights failed to create a conducive environment for peaceful cohabitation of the couple. 

During the cross questioning of the plaintiff, the respondent accused the plaintiff without any supported evidence of having an illegitimate relationship with his sister in law and of being legitimate. Both these accusations were out rightly denied by the husband. The court observed that “Such unsubstantiated scandalous allegations on the part of the respondent would undeniably constitute an act of torture and mental cruelty inflicted upon the appellant”

The court dismissed the application filed by the respondent and observed that “It is also not clear why the respondent is pursuing her revision applications opposing the acquittal of the appellant and his family members on the one hand, while simultaneously seeking restitution of conjugal rights on the other. Why she opposes divorce is not understood.”

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