The Chhattisgarh High Court has ruled that it is mental cruelty if a wife forces her husband to separate from his parents and threatens to accuse him of false dowry demand.
A division bench of Justices Goutam Bhaduri and NK Chandravanshi was hearing a petition filed by a spouse contesting an order issued by a Family Court in Korba on February 21, 2017 that denied his appeal for divorce based on cruelty.
The judges concluded from the evidence that the couple’s marriage had only lasted two months before they began to have disagreements.
The wife frequently left her marital home to visit her parents. Her father even insisted that the spouse live in his house rather than the matrimonial home. The husband, on the other hand, made repeated unsuccessful attempts to reconcile the couple.
“It seems that the wife belongs to higher strata in their society in respect of financial status comparatively than the husband, hence, she wants to live with him but not along with her in-laws. And, therefore, she always creates mental pressure in this regard in him and has threatened also to fasten ho in a dowry case.”
The husband’s father is an elderly retiree employee, and he has a younger brother, according to the judges.
“In a lower middle-class household, the eldest son (as the husband is in this case) is responsible for caring for his ageing parents, as he has also stated in his statement. In such a situation, if the wife consistently places pressure on the husband to separate from his family and live with her at her parents’ house, as well as threatens him that if he does not, she would incriminate him in a dowry case, it amounts to mental cruelty.”
Furthermore, the bench disagreed with the Family Court’s findings that there are opportunities for the couple to reconcile in the future because no police complaints had been filed.
“We have no trouble in concluding that the Family Court’s observation was very unreasonable. While doing so, the Family Court has assumed the function of a counsellor rather than an adjudicator. A case is brought before the court for judgement after considerable effort and counselling. The court’s responsibility then becomes adjudicating the case’s issue based on the evidence after it has been properly appraised.The Family Court is not supposed to advice the remedies to the parties or dispose of the case on the probabilities of leading happy marital life in future”.
As a result, the bench issued a divorce decree based on the husband’s mental cruelty.