Friday, 30 October, 2009

Plea of Cruelty in Matrimonial Cases

Plea of Cruelty in Matrimonial Cases .

    …unsubstantiated allegations of unchaste and adulterous behaviour by a husband against the wife in the Indian context do amount to matrimonial cruelty”

An India lady (wife) working abroad* approached Family Court in India seeking dissolution of marriage with her husband who also is in the same country*. The parties had contracted marriage in India according to Christian Rites.

Wife had made specific allegations of infliction of physical cruelty consequent to allegations of unchaste and adulterous behaviour. The wife alleged that the husband was making reckless allegations of pre-marital licentious behaviour and post marital adulterous and unchaste behaviour. The wife had been compelled and driven to courts in Switzerland to seek separation and police protection to save herself from the matrimonial cruelty allegedly heaped on her by her husband. Finally the wife approached Family Court in India seeking dissolution of marriage.

Husband also entered appearance before the family court opposing dissolution of marriage but at the same time repeating the allegations against the wife. However the husband could not substantiate his allegations before the Family Court. Even in Court the husband continued to make assertions of such licentious behaviour pre-marital and post-marital on the part of the wife ; but he did not even attempt to substantiate those allegations before court.

Family Court came to the conclusion that except the vague allegations of the husband there was absolutely nothing even to indicate, suggest or probabilise such allegations of improper marital conduct and behaviour on the part of the wife. The view taken by the Court was that unsubstantiated allegations of unchaste and adulterous behaviour by a husband against the wife in the Indian context do amount to matrimonial cruelty and dissolution of marriage under S.10 of the Indian Divorce Act was allowed.. The view taken by the Family Court was confirmed by the Hon.High Court of Kerala also. Cfr., 2009 (3) KLT 786.

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