MA LLB wife files 498a & aleges husbnd has ilicit relaton wid OWN sister. Cruelty decreed . MP HC

MA LLB Qualified wife files 498a etc case and also alleges that her husband had illicit relationship with his own sister. Husband says that the case is false and is fabricated to outst the mother in law & sister in law and to usurp property. Husband examines (cross examines) himself and sister and disproves allegations. Lower court decrees divorce in favour of husband. Wife appeals to HC, fights cases party in person. HC appreciates the matter on record, discusses what is mental cruelty at length and confirms the lower court decree on grounds of cruelty

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Excerpts :

“….33. It may be observed here that in matrimonial life, the possibility of such situation that the sister living in parents’ house after her marriage is not an unusual situation. It quite often happen if her relationship with her husband is not very good and she did not feel comfortable then only option for her to live with her parents. Even if such living by the married daughter is for a long period, this cannot be a reason for the sister-in-law to create a situation where relationship between the parties comes to such a situation that they are unable to live together which appears to be a situation created by the appellant and has given reason for filing of this divorce petition. She went to the extent of making allegation against the sister of the husband calling her a person of shady character…..”

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F.A.159/2013

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT JABALPUR BENCH GWALIOR.
(DB : JUSTICE M.C. GARG & JUSTICE SHEEL NAGU, JJ.)

Mamta Bhardwaj
  vs.
Madhusudan Bhardwaj

Appellant is present in person.
Shri Sarvesh Sharma, Advocate for the respondent.
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JUDGMENT

(Delivered on 16 th of January, 2015)

PER M.C.GARG, J.

1. This order shall dispose of this first appeal preferred  by the appellant-Mamta Bhardwaj (wife) against her husband-Madhusudan Bhardwaj   assailing   the   order   passed   by   the   Family   Court   under Section 19(1) of the Family Court Act whereby, the Principal Judge of   the   Family   Court,   Gwalior   in   Case   No.117A/07   under   Hindu Marriage   Act   filed   by   the   respondent- Madhusudan  Bhardwaj (hereinafter referred to as the “husband”), seeking dissolution of his marriage   with   the   appellant   decreed   the   same   in   favour   of   the respondent-husband  and  passed   a   decree   dated   28 th June  2013 dissolving the marriage between the parties  by means of a decree of divorce.

2. According to the appellant, the judgment of the lower Court is not sustainable for the reasons that the appellant has failed to prove allegations on merit. His witnesses  have not supported his case. There  are   number  of   contradictions   in  their  statement.   The  main allegation  made against his sister having illicit relationship with the respondent has also not been proved. It is further submitted, that it has been brought on record by the appellant in her evidence that it was the respondent and his family members who were treating the appellant with cruelty and in fact the case under Section 498-A of IPC was also registered against him because there was substance in   the   allegations   made   against   the   respondent   and   his   family members. It is further submitted that even the order of maintenance passed under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. has not been complied with.

3. According   to   her   the   main   controversy   arose   between   the parties   only   because   she   could   not   give   birth   to   a   child.   It   is however the matter on record that the first petition for divorce was filed by the respondent against the appellant just after six months of the   marriage,   of   course   it   was   dismissed   as   pre-mature.   The allegations of the respondent have been taken note of by the lower Court in the impugned judgment in para 2 as follows:-

2. विवाह के बाद अनावेदिका आवेदक के निवास स्थान 3-सरस्वती नगर में
दाम्पत्य संबंधों का निर्वहन करने हेतु आई थी तथा आवेदक एवं अनावेदिका के दाम्पत्य
संबंधों से कोई संतान उत्पन्न नहीं हुई है। आवेदक के परिवार में आवेदक के अतिरिक्त
उसकी बहिन एवं उसके दो बच्चे तथा मां निवास करती हैं। अनावेदिका द्वारा शादी के
पश्चात से ही आवेदक पर यह दबाब डाला जा रहा है कि आवेदक अपनी मां एवं बहिन
को उक्त भवन से हटाकर किराये के मकान में भेज दे तथा उक्त मकान अनावेदिका के
हित में संपादित करा दे। आवेदक द्वारा अनावेदिका को समझाये जाने पर अनावेदिका द्वारा
आवेदक एवं उसकी मां बहिन के साथ क्रूरता पूर्ण व्यवहार कर मारपीट, गाली गलौज, कर
मानसिक क्लेश की स्थिति निर्मित कर देती थी। आवेदक द्वारा अनावेदिका को समझाईश
देने का कोई असर नहीं हुआ और उसके द्वारा प्रारंभ से ही भाई-बहिन के रिश्ते को
शंकास्पद नजरों से देखा जाता है। अनावेदिका द्वारा आवेदक को कुत्ता कमीना, नीच
खानदान का कहकर अपमानित किया जाता रहा। तथा मां बहिन को भी कुतिया
हरामजादी जैसी गंदी गंदी गालियां दी जाती है। दिनांक 19.12.2006 को को शाम को 7
बजे अनावेदिका एवं उसके परिवार के सदस्य आवेदक के घर आए और आवेदक की
मां एवं बहिन से कोरे कागजों पर हस्ताक्षर करने हेतु कहा और कहा कि वे मकान
अनावेदिका के नाम कर दें। मना करने पर उन लोगों ने गाली गलौच किया तथा
अनावेदिका ने आवेदक से उसकी बहिन के साथ अवैध संबंध होने वाली बात घर के बाहर
निकलकर चिल्ला-चिल्लाकर कही जिसके कारण आवेदक के आसपास के पड़ौसी आवेदक
एवं उसकी बहिन को शंकास्पद नजरों से देखते हैं। अनावेदिका ने आवेदक के चेहरे पर
नाखूनों से वार किया जिससे आवेदक के चेहरे पर चोटे आई। उक्त दिनांक को ही
अनावेदिका एवं उसके परिवार वाले अनावेदिका का सामान मय जेवरात जो आवेदक की
ओर से शादी के समय चढ़ाया गया था अपने साथ लेकर चली गई। तत्पश्चात दिनांक
27.12.2006 को भी सुबह 10 बजे अनावेदिका एवं उसके परिवार के लोग आवेदक के घर
आये और धमकी दी कि यदि सात दिन में मकान अनावेदिका के नाम नहीं किया तो पूरे
परिवार को पुलिस कार्यवाही में जेल में सड़वा देंगें और मकान पर कब्जा कर लेंगें। इसकी
शिकायत आवेदक द्वारा पुलिस थाना विश्वविद्यालय एवं पुलिस अधीक्षक ग्वालियर को
लिखित में की। इसके बाद आवेदक द्वारा अपने अधिवक्ता के माध्यम से एक रजिस्टर्ड
सूचना पत्र अनावेदिका को भेजा। अनावेदिका द्वारा उक्त नोटिस का जबाब दिनांक
15.02.2007 को प्रेषित कर आवेदक एवं उसकी बहिन पर चारित्रिक आरोप लगाये गये हैं
जिससे आवेदक को काफी मानसिक पीड़ा पहुंची ह

4. There is no dispute that the parties were married to each other in accordance with the provision of the Hindu Marriage Act.

5. In the written statement cum counter claim the appellant also claimed the decree of restitution of conjugal rights under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act. It was her case that just after one month of her marriage the respondent and his family had started raising demand of dowry. He treated the appellant with cruelty on account of demand of Rs.5 Lacs and a Car. In fact on 10.10.2006 the day of Karvachauth, the respondent and his mother and sister beat the appellant. They were not even giving food to her and keep the food articles under lock and similar treatment was given to her by his mother and sister because of which her backbone was fractured. In this regard she got herself treated on 28.12.2006. It is submitted that her relatives have been trying to persuade the respondent to take the appellant back but he always wanted his demands of dowry to be met as a precondition for the respondent in joining his company. It is submitted that the appellant even made a complaint in this regard at Mahila Thana in March 2007 and on account of that a case under Section 498-A of IPC and under Section 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act was also registered. She also filed a case under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. wherein, the respondent refused to grant maintenance to her.  http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com

6. The lower Court has also noticed the facts of the case of the appellant in para 4 of the judgment as follows:-

04. अनावेदिका द्वारा जवाब दावा प्रस्तुत कर स्वीकृत तथ्यों के अलावा आवेदक के अन्य समस्त
अभिवचनों को अस्वीकार किया गया है एवं प्रतिदावा धारा 9 हिन्दू विवाह अधिनियम के अन्तर्गत
प्रस्तुत कर यह अभिवचन किया गया है कि अनावेदिका के विवाह में तीन लाख रूपये नगद
और घर गृहस्थी का संपूर्ण सामान दिया गया था। किन्तु विवाह के एक माह बाद से ही
आवेदक ने अनावेदिका के परिवार से दहेज की मांग प्रारंभ कर दी और उसके द्वारा पांच
लाख रूपये नगर और कार की मांग पूरी नहीं किये जाने के कारण दिनांक 10.10.2006 को
करवाचैथ के दिन अनावेदिका की आवेदक, उसकी मां एवं बहिन मीनाक्षी चैबे ने निमर्म पिटाई
की थी। आवेदक एवं उसके परिवार वाले अनावेदिका को खाने को नहीं देते थे। खाने पीने का
सामान ताले में बंद रखते थे। दिनांक 19.12.2006 को आवेदक उसकी मां तथा बहिन ने
अनावेदिका की उसके पिता एवं भाई के समक्ष लात-घूसों से मारपीट की और धक्के देकर घर
से बाहर निकाल दिया जिससे अनावेदिका की रीड़ की हड्डी में चोट आई थी जिसका परीक्षण
दिनांक 20.12.2006 को कराया गया। अनावेदिका के रिश्तेदारों ने आवेदक को काफी समझाने
का प्रयास किया लेकिन आवेदक अपनी जिद पर अड़ा रहा कि पांच लाख रूपये और एल्टो दो
तो ममता को ले जायेगा नहीं तो तलाक दे देगा। इसके बाद अनावेदिका द्वारा फोन से संपर्क
करने पर आवेदक ने अनावेदिका को अपने साथ रखने से मना कर दिया। विवश होकर
अनावेदिका ने माच 2007 में महिला थाने पर आवेदन पत्र प्रस्तुत किया जहां पर आवेदक ने
अनावेदिका को अपने साथ ले जाने से स्पष्ट रूप से मना कर दिया तथा आवेदक के विरूद्ध
धारा 498 ए भा.द.वि. तथा धारा 3 व 4 दहेज प्रतिशेध अधिनियम के तहत मामला पंजीबद्ध
किया गया।
अनावेदिका ने आवेदक के विरूद्ध धारा 125 दण्ड प्रक्रिया संहिता के अंतर्गत
भरण पोषण हेतु आवेदन पत्र प्रस्तुत किया गया जिसमें दिनांक 30.09.2008 को यह
अभिनिर्धारित गया कि आवेदक ने अनावेदिका के भरण पोषण में उपेक्षा व इंकार किया
है। धारा 498 ए भा.द.वि. के प्रकरण में जमानत पर छूटने पर आवेदक एवं उसकी माता
तथा बहिन मीनाक्षी ने दिनांक 26.04.2007 को अनावेदिका को गाली गलौच कर धक्के
मारकर घर से बाहर निकाल दिया, इसकी 000 शिकायत पुलिस थाना विश्वविद्यालय में
की गई। तत्पश्चात अनावेदिका द्वारा अपनी ससुराल जाने का प्रयास किया किन्तु
आवेदक ने अपने घर में घुसने नहीं दिया। आवेदक अनावेदिका का दहेज के लालच
में परित्याग कर दूसरा विवाह करना चाहता है जबकि अनावेदिका उसके साथ रहकर
दाम्पत्य संबंधों का निर्वाह करना चाहती है। अतः आवेदक की ओर से विवाह विच्छेद
हेतु प्रस्तुत याचिका निरस्त करते हुए अनावेदिका के पक्ष में दाम्पत्य अधिकारों के
पुर्नस्थापन की आज्ञप्ति पारित की जावे।’’

7. On the pleadings of the parties, the trial Court framed the following issues:-

वाद-प्रश्न                                                                            निष्कर्ष

1. क्या अनावेदिका ने आवेदक के साथ क्रूरता पूर्ण व्यवहार कर उसे दाम्पत्य सुख से वंचित किया है?   : हां

2. क्या स्वयं आवेदक द्वारा अनावेदिका के साथ क्रूरतापूर्ण व्यवहार कर उसका परित्याग किया है?    : सिद्ध नहीं

3. क्या आवेदक अनावेदिका के विरूद्ध विवाहविच्छेद का जय पत्र प्राप्त करने का अधिकारी है?        : हां

4. क्या अनावेदिका आवेदक के विरूद्ध दाम्पत्य संबंधों की पुर्नस्थापना की आज्ञप्ति प्राप्त करने  की अधिकारिणी है?   : सिद्ध नहीं

8. To prove his case the respondent examined himself, his sister Menakshi Choubey (PW/2) and his friend Shailendra who appeared as PW/3. He also brought on record Ex-P/1 to Ex-P/33 and relied upon the contents of those documents in support of his case. On the other hand the appellant examined only herself besides relying upon the document Ex-D/1 to Ex-D/49.

9. Some undisputed facts which have been taken into notice by the lower Court reproduced in para 10 reads as under:-

’’10. प्रकरण में यह तथ्य तो निर्विवादित रूप से प्रकट हुआ है कि आवेदक का
विवाह अनावेदिका के साथ दिनांक 02.06.2006 को संपन्न हुआ था और उन्हें कोई
संतान उत्पन्न नहीं हुई है और विवाह के समय आवेदक मकान नंबर-3 सरस्वती नगर
ठाटीपुर मुरार में जो कि उसके पिता ने स्वअर्जित संपत्ति से निर्माण कराया था, में
निवास कर रहा है और आवेदक के अनुसार उसके पिता की मृत्यु के बाद उसकी मां
के नाम नामान्तरण हुआ। आवेदक के परिवार में आवेदक के अतिरिक्त उसकी मां,
बहिन औ उसके दो बच्चे निवास करते हैं चूंकि प्रार्थी की बहिन की आर्थिक स्थिति
अच्छी न होने एवं पारिवारिक मतभेद होने के कारण, प्रार्थी की बहिन उस मकान
के एक भाग मे सिलाई-कढ़ाई का कार्य करके अपना एवं अपने बच्चों का भरण-पोषण
कर रही है।’’

10. It may be observed here that the appellant has not engaged any counsel and has argued herself. She has also filed written arguments. She is M.A. LL.B. and offer of this Court to engage a counsel through legal Aid was declined. Efforts for mediation between the parties were also not successful. It shows that the appellant is an educated lady and is fully aware of her obligations in law.

11. Basic allegations of the respondent was that the appellant and her family members had been pressurizing the respondent to send the mother and sister-Menakshi from the matrimonial house to some other property by taking it on rent and transfer the property in which the parties had been residing in the name of the appellant. To pressurize the respondent to meet her aforesaid demand she had been treating the respondent his mother and his sister with cruelty. She had even abusing the respondent by using word “dqRrk] dehuk] uhp [kkunku dk“. Specific allegations have also been made by the respondent in support of his case by narrating incident of 19.12.06 by alleging that on that day at about 7.00 PM, the appellant, her brother and sister came to his house and treated the respondent and his family members with cruelty in presence of his friend Shailendra who appeared as PW/3. About that incident, it was alleged that on that day the family members of the appellant and appellant herself wanted the respondent to execute papers for transfer of matrimonial house in her name and on his refusal she abused the respondent and his sister. She even made allegations that the respondent was having illicit relationship with his sister. Incident of 27.12.2006 is also referred to on which day threats were given to the respondent that if the house was not mutated within seven days in the name of the appellant, a false complaint will be lodged against the respondent and his family members. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com

12. On the other hand, according to the appellant in Ex-P/3 report lodged by the respondent dated 27.12.06 there was no mention about the allegations of illicit relationship between the respondent and his sister and this fact has been admitted by him in para 19 of cross-examination. Similarly in Ex-P/5 notice sent by the respondent through his advocate, again there is no mention about any allegation having made by the appellant about illicit relationship between the respondent and his sister.

13. Allegations have been scrutinized by the lower Court in the light of the statement made by the parties as also in their cross-examination and the contents of documents Ex.P/3 and Ex.P-5 in paragraph 13 and 14 of the judgment as under:-

’’13. अनावेदिका की ओर से किये गये उक्त तर्क के परिप्रेक्ष्य में हम प्रदर्श पी-3 का
अवलोकन करें तो उक्त रिपोर्ट पुलिस थाना विश्वविद्यालय में दिनांक 27.12.2006 को की गई है।
उक्त प्रदर्श पी-3 में आवेदक ने यह स्पष्ट रूप से उल्लेख किया है कि दिनांक 19.12.06 को
अनावेदिका एवं उसके परिवार वाले उसके घर आये थे उस समय मेरी बहिन और मित्र शैलेंद्र भी
घर पर थे ये सभी लोग कोरे कागजों पर मुझसे मेरी मां तथा बहिन से हस्ताक्षर करने की कहने
लगे तथा कहा कि मकान ममता के नाम करना पड़ेगा, हम लोगों ने हस्ताक्षर नहीं किये तो इन
सबने लात-घूसों से मारपीट की, ममता ने उसके चेहरे पर नाखूनों से वार किया जिससे खून
निकल आया। मैने अपनी इलाज सहारा अस्पताल में कराया। उक्त रिपोर्ट में यह भी उल्लेख
किया गया है कि परिवार की इज्जत के खातिर रिपोर्ट भी नहीं की थी। फिर दिनांक 27.12.06
को सुबह 10.00 बजे ये सभी लोग मेरे घर आये इन लोगों ने कहा कि ममता के नाम मकान
करने के बारे में क्या सोचा यदि सात दिन में ममता के नाम मकान नहीं किया तो पूरे परिवार को
झूठी पुलिस कार्यवाही कर जेल में सड़वा देंगें। तब दिनांक 27.12.2006 को यह रिपोर्ट की गई
है।

14. आवेदक ने अपने अधिवक्ता के माध्यम से दिनांक 29.12.2006 को प्रदर्श पी-5 का
रजिस्टर्ड सूचना पत्र अनावेदिका को भेजा, नोटिस की रसीद प्रदर्श पी-6, यू पी सी की रसीद
प्रदर्श पी-7 तथा अभिस्वीकृति पत्र प्रदर्श पी-8 आवेदक की ओर से प्रस्तुत की गई है। प्रदर्श
पी-8 के अवलोकन से यह स्पष्ट है कि उक्त नोटिस अनावेदिका को दिनांक 30.12.2006 को
प्राप्त हो गया था और अनावेदिका की ओर से उक्त नोटिस का जवाब नोटिस प्राप्ति के एक माह
पश्चात दिनांक 29.01.2007 दिया गया है।’’

14. Reply given to Ex-P/5 by the appellant vide Ex-P/11 reflects upon her intention and give tacit support to her allegations about illicit relationship of respondent with his sister. The contents of the reply have been taken note by the lower Court in para 15 of the judgment which is reproduced here as under:-

15. यहां पर हम इस तथ्य को दृष्टिगत रखेंगें कि अनावेदिका द्वारा आवेदक के द्वारा
दिये गये सूचना पत्र का जो जवाब प्रदर्श प्रदर्श पी-11 दिया गया है, जिसके पद क्रमांक-2 में
अनावेदिका द्वारा यह प्रश्न चिन्ह लगाया गया है कि मीनाक्षी चैबे अपने नवयुवक पुत्र एवं
अविवाहित पुत्री सहित इस भवन में कब तक, निवास करेगी ? यह अज्ञात है। वास्तव में
मीनाक्षी चैबे को विवाह के पश्चात दोनों बच्चों सहित पतिग्रह ग्राम परसोरिया जिला सागर
स्थित अपनी ससुराल में निवास करना चाहिए। इसी पैरा में आगे यहां तक अनावेदिका ने
लिखा है कि नोटिसी को विदित हुआ है कि आपने पक्षकार की बहिन श्रीमती मीनाक्षी चैबे
पति अनिल चैबे निवासी ग्राम परसोरिया सागर में अपने पति अनिल चैबे का अकारण ही
त्यजन कर रखा है। आपके पक्षकार की बहिन श्रीमती मीनाक्षी चैबे को दूसरों के सुखी
वैवाहिक जीवन से डाह, कुढ़न, चिड़चिड़ाहट एवं वैमनस्यता होती है और इसी कारण वे
नोटिस के साथ बढ़-चढ़कर मारपीट करती है एवं भाई एवं मां के माध्यम से अवैध दहेज की
मांग को उकसाती है। वे संदिग्ध चरित्र की मर्यादाहीन महिला रही हैं। बहिन के नाम पर
कलंक श्रीमती मीनाक्षी चैबे पता नहीं किया लालच एवं मजबूरी वश भाई के साथ ही अवैध एवं
कलंकित जीवनयापन को भी तैयार है।’’

15. From the aforesaid the lower Court has taken a view that the appellant was making false allegations against the sister of the respondent and was alleging that she was a person of shady character and in fact wanted to oust her from matrimonial home. In this regard the trial Court has even noted cross-examination of the respondent in para 30 of the judgment which is reproduced in para 18:-*

’’18. इस संबंध में आवेदक का कथन के प्रति परीक्षण का पद क्रमांक-30
अवलोकनीय है, जिसमें उसने यह कहा है कि मीनाक्षी चैबे, सरस्वती नगर में वर्ष 2000
से रह रही है। यह भी स्वीकार किया है कि मीनाक्षी चैबे मेरे पिता की मृत्यु के पश्चात
से 3 सरस्वती नगर में रह रही है, मेरी बहिन की शादी हो चुकी है। मेरी बहिन मीनाक्षी
चोब्े की शादी सागर में हुई है। यह भी स्वीकार किया है कि मेरी बहिन सिलाई-कढ़ाई
का काम करती है, बुटिक का काम नहीं करती। यह भी स्वीकार किया कि मेरी बहिन
मीनाक्षी का उसके पति से कोई तलाक नहीं हुआ है, मैं मीनाक्षी चैबे को सागर से स्वयं
लिवाकर लाया है, उस समय वह अस्वथ्य थी। उसके कुछ चोटें थीं गंभीर प्रोब्लम थी
मेरी बहिन के पति सागर में ही रहते हैं। यह भी स्वीकार किया है कि मैने इस संबंध में
थाने में अपने बहनोई के विरूद्ध कोइ रिपोर्ट नहीं की थी। यह भी स्वीकार किया है कि
पुलिस थाने या न्यायालय में कार्यवाही करने से बहिन बेटी एवं परिवार की बदनामी होती
है व इज्जत खराब होती है। इसी कारण से मैने किसी पुलिस थाने या न्यायालय में
कार्यवाही नहीं की। मेरी बहिन व मेरे पिता के बीच अच्छे संबंध थे, कोई मनमुटाव नहीं
था। प्रदर्श डी-2 का पत्र वही है जो मेरे पिता ने खुदकुशी करने के पूर्व परिवार वालों
को लिखा था। मेरे पिता ने उस पत्र में लिखा था कि मेरी बहिन सागर में ही रहे
ग्वालियर आकर रहने का मन न बनाये। स्वतः कहा कि मीनाक्षी के साथ उसके बाद
उसकी ससुराल सागर में मारपीट हुई थी।

16. The aforesaid explanation given by the respondent about not mentioning the allegations of the appellant against his sister are justifiable and would not contradict his allegations against his sister which were made by the appellant.

17. Para 22 of the judgment is also relevant which deals about the allegations of illicit relationship between the respondent and her sister. Para 22 reads as under:-

22. इस प्रकार अनावेदिका ने अपने पति और उसकी बहिन के अवैध संबंध होने का और
कलंकित जीवनयापन करने का जो आक्षेप अपने जवाबदावे में लगाया है, यह आक्षेप एक ऐसा
आक्षेप है, जो किसी भी भाई के लिये अत्ययधिक मानसिक पीड़ा पहुंचाने वाला है और
अनावेदिका का उक्त कृत्य आवेदक के प्रति मानसिक क्रूरता की श्रेणी में आता है। मानसिक
क्रूरता को अधिनियम में कहीं पर भी परिभाषित नहीं किया गया है लेकिन एक भाई एवं बहिन
के मध्य इतना पवित्र रिश्ता होता है। यदि बहिन किसी परेशानीवश अपने मायके में निवासकर
रही हो और उसकी भाभी ही उसका सहयोग करने बजाय, उस पर इस प्रकार के लांछन
लगाये तो कोई भी भाई यह कतई बर्दाश्त नहीं कर सकता, जबकि आवेदक की बहिन स्वयं
सिलाई-कढ़ाई का काम करके अपने एवं अपने बच्चों का भरण-पोषण कर रही हो। इन
परिस्थितियों में अनावेदिका का अपने पति से यह कहना कि वह अपनी मां और बहिन को घर
से बाहर निकाल दे, यह बहुत ही मानसिक पीड़ादायक स्थिति है।

18. In the light of the aforesaid conclusion drawn by the lower Court, it was held that the conduct of the appellant was such, which caused mental cruelty upon the respondent of such kind which made it impossible for respondent to stay with appellant as her husband. The lower Court was satisfied in coming to the conclusion that besides the allegation made by the respondent against the appellant about specific acts of cruelty, her allegations against the sister of the respondent and suggestive averments in her reply to the notice given by the respondent to the appellant were the acts of mental cruelty. Paragraph 15 and 16 of the judgment in this regard is clear which are reproduced hereunder:-

’’15. यहां पर हम इस तथ्य को दृष्टिगत रखेंगें कि अनावेदिका द्वारा आवेदक के द्वारा
दिये गये सूचना पत्र का जो जवाब प्रदर्श प्रदर्श पी-11 दिया गया है, जिसके पद क्रमांक-2 में
अनावेदिका द्वारा यह प्रश्न चिन्ह लगाया गया है कि मीनाक्षी चैबे अपने नवयुवक पुत्र एवं
अविवाहित पुत्री सहित इस भवन में कब तक, निवास करेगी ? यह अज्ञात है। वास्तव में
मीनाक्षी चैबे को विवाह के पश्चात दोनों बच्चों सहित पतिग्रह ग्राम परसोरिया जिला सागर
स्थित अपनी ससुराल में निवास करना चाहिए। इसी पैरा में आगे यहां तक अनावेदिका ने
लिखा है कि नोटिसी को विदित हुआ है कि आपने पक्षकार की बहिन श्रीमती मीनाक्षी चैबे
पति अनिल चैबे निवासी ग्राम परसोरिया सागर में अपने पति अनिल चैबे का अकारण ही
त्यजन कर रखा है। आपके पक्षकार की बहिन श्रीमती मीनाक्षी चैबे को दूसरों के सुखी
वैवाहिक जीवन से डाह, कुढ़न, चिड़चिड़ाहट एवं वैमनस्यता होती है और इसी कारण वे
नोटिस के साथ बढ़-चढ़कर मारपीट करती है एवं भाई एवं मां के माध्यम से अवैध दहेज की
मांग को उकसाती है। वे संदिग्ध चरित्र की मर्यादाहीन महिला रही हैं। बहिन के नाम पर
कलंक श्रीमती मीनाक्षी चैबे पता नहीं किया लालच एवं मजबूरी वश भाई के साथ ही अवैध एवं
कलंकित जीवनयापन को भी तैयार है।’’

16. अनावेदिका के उक्त जवाब से ही यह स्पष्ट है कि जो महिला
अपने पति की बहिन के संब ंध में ऐसे शब्दों का उच्चारण मात्र इस आधार पर
कर रही है कि वह अपने मायके में निवास कर रही है तो इससे उसकी
मानसिकता दर्शित होती है कि वह अपने पति की बहिन के संब ंध में कहां तक
अपशब्दों का प्रयोग कर सकती है। इससे यह दृष्टिगोचर होता है कि जो महिला
अपने जवाब में अपने पति की बहिन के संब ंध में यह कह रही हो कि वह किस
लालच में और किस मजब ूरीवश अपने भाई के साथ ही अवैध एव ं कलंकित
जीवनयापन को भी तैयार है, इससे आवेदक द्वारा अपने दावे में किये गय े
अभिवचन कि अनावेदिका उसकी बहिन के उसके अवैध संब ंध होने का आक्षेप
लगाती है, वह पूर्ण रूप से अनावेदिका के ही आचरण से दर्शित होता है।’’

19. I have gone through the judgment of the lower Court and also gone into the written statement filed on behalf of the appellant. Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act reads as under:-

13. Divorce. (1) Any marriage solemnised, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party-

[(i) x x x

[(ia) has, after the solemnisation of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty; or]

[(ib) to (vii) x x x

Explanation .- x x x

20. The word ‘cruelty’ has not been defined in the Hindu Marriage Act. To constitute cruelty the conduct complained should be ‘grave and weighty’ so as to make cohabitation virtually unendurable. What is cruelty in one case may not amount to cruelty in another case. It is a matter to be determined in each case having regard to the facts and circumstances of that case. If it is a case of accusations and allegations, regard must also be had to the context in which they were made.

21. In the celebrated book of D. Tolstoy “The Law and Practice of Divorce and Matrimonial Causes” (Sixth Edition, p. 61) defined cruelty in these words:

“Cruelty which is a ground for dissolution of marriage may be defined as willful and unjustifiable conduct of such a character as to cause danger to life, limb or health, bodily or mental, or as to give rise to a reasonable apprehension of such a danger.”

22. The Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines “cruelty” as “the quality of being cruel; disposition of inflicting suffering; delight in or indifference to another’s pain; mercilessness; hard-heartedness”.

23. The term “mental cruelty” has been defined in Black’s Law Dictionary [8th Edition, 2004] as under:

Mental Cruelty – As a ground for divorce, one spouse’s
course of conduct (not involving actual violence) that creates
such anguish that it endangers the life, physical health, or
mental health of the other spouse.”

24. The concept of cruelty has been summarized in Halsbury’s Laws of England [Vol.13, 4th Edition, Para 1269] as under:

“The general rule in all cases of cruelty is that the entire
matrimonial relationship must be considered, and that rule is
of special value when the cruelty consists not of violent acts
but of injurious reproaches, complaints, accusations or taunts.
In cases where no violence is averred, it is undesirable to
consider judicial pronouncements with a view to creating
certain categories of acts or conduct as having or lacking the
nature or quality which renders them capable or incapable in
all circumstances of amounting to cruelty; for it is the effect of
the conduct rather than its nature which is of paramount
importance in assessing a complaint of cruelty. Whether one
spouse has been guilty of cruelty to the other is essentially a
question of fact and previously decided cases have little, if
any, value. The court should bear in mind the physical and
mental condition of the parties as well as their social status,
and should consider the impact of the personality and
conduct of one spouse on the mind of the other, weighing all
incidents and quarrels between the spouses from that point of
view; further, the conduct alleged must be examined in the
light of the complainant’s capacity for endurance and the
extent to which that capacity is known to the other spouse.
Malevolent intention is not essential to cruelty but it is an
important element where it exits.”

25. In 24 American Jurisprudence 2d, the term “mental cruelty” has been defined as under:

“Mental Cruelty as a course of unprovoked conduct toward
one’s spouse which causes embarrassment, humiliation, and
anguish so as to render the spouse’s life miserable and
unendurable. The plaintiff must show a course of conduct on
the part of the defendant which so endangers the physical or
mental health of the plaintiff as to render continued
cohabitation unsafe or improper, although the plaintiff need
not establish actual instances of physical abuse.”

26. In Dr. N.G. Dastane v. S. Dastane, (supra), the Apex Court has observed as under;

“…whether the conduct charged as cruelty is of such a
character as to cause in the mind of the petitioner a
reasonable apprehension that it will be harmful or injurious
for him to live with the Respondent”.

27. In the case of Shobha Rani v. Madhukar Reddi, AIR 1988 SC 121, the Apex Court has observed as under;

“Section 13(1)(ia) uses the word “treated the
petitioner with cruelty”. The word “cruelty” has not
been defined. Indeed it could not have been
defined. It has been used in relation to human
conduct or human behavior. It is the conduct in
relation to or in respect of matrimonial duties and
obligations. It is a course of conduct of one which is
adversely affecting the other. The cruelty may be
mental or physical, intentional or unintentional. If it is
physical the Court will have no problem to determine
it. It is a question of fact and degree. If it is mental
the problem presents difficulty. First, the enquiry
must begin as to the nature of the cruel treatment.
Second, the impact of such treatment in the mind of
the spouse. Whether it caused reasonable
apprehension that it would be harmful or injurious to
live with the other. Ultimately, it is a matter of
inference to be drawn by taking into account the
nature of the conduct and its effect on the
complaining spouse. There may, however, be cases
where the conduct complained of itself is bad
enough and per se unlawful or illegal. Then the
impact or the injurious effect on the other spouse
need not be enquired into or considered. In such
cases, the cruelty will be established if the conduct
itself is proved or admitted.”

The Court further observed;

“The context and the set up in which the word
“cruelty” has been used in the Section seems to us,
that intention is not a necessary element in cruelty.
That the word has to be understood in the ordinary
sense of the term in matrimonial affairs. If the
intention to harm, harass or hurt could be inferred
by the nature of the conduct or brutal act
complained of, cruelty could be easily established.
But the absence of intention should not make any
difference in the case, if by ordinary sense in
human affairs, that act complained of could
otherwise be regarded as cruelty. The relief to the
party cannot be denied on the ground that there
has been no deliberate or wilful ill-treatment.”

28. In the case of V. Bhagat v. D. Bhagat, (Supra), the Apex Court has observed as under:

“Mental cruelty in Section 13 (1)(ia) can broadly be
defined as that conduct which inflicts upon the other
party such mental pain and suffering as would make it
not possible for that party to live with the other. In other
words, mental cruelty must be of such a nature that the
parties cannot reasonably be expected to live together.
The situation must be such that the wronged party
cannot reasonably be asked to put up with such conduct
and continue to live with the other party. It is not
necessary to prove that the mental cruelty is such as to
cause injury to the health of the petitioner. While arriving
at such conclusion, regard must be had to the social
status, educational level of the parties, the society they
move in, the possibility or otherwise of the parties ever
living together in case they are already living apart and
all other relevant facts and circumstances which it is
neither possible nor desirable to set out exhaustively.
What is cruelty in one case may not amount to cruelty in
another case. It is a matter to be determined in each
case having regard to the facts and circumstances of
that case. If it is a case of accusations and allegations,
regard must also be had to the context in which they
were made.”

29. Again in Savitri Pandey v. Prem Chandra Pandey, AIR 2002 SC 591, the Apex Court has observed as under;

“Mental cruelty is the conduct of other spouse which
causes mental suffering or fear to the matrimonial life of
the other. “Cruelty”, therefore, postulates a treatment of
the petitioner with such cruelty as to cause a reasonable
apprehension in his or her mind that it would be harmful or
injurious for the petitioner to live with the other party.
Cruelty, however, has to be distinguished from the
ordinary wear and tear of family life. It cannot be decided
on the basis of the sensitivity of the petitioner and has to
be adjudged on the basis of the course of conduct which
would, in general, be dangerous for a spouse to live with
the other.”

30. In Praveen Mehta v. Inderjit Mehta, AIR 2002 SC 2582, the Apex Court has laid down as to what constitute cruelty;

“Cruelty for the purpose of Section13(1)(ia) is to be taken
as a behavior by one spouse towards the other, which
causes reasonable apprehension in the mind of the latter
that it is not safe for him or her to continue the
matrimonial relationship with the other. Mental cruelty is a
state of mind and feeling with one of the spouses due to
the behavior or behavioral pattern by the other. Unlike the
case of physical cruelty the mental cruelty is difficult to
establish by direct evidence. It is necessarily a matter of
inference to be drawn from the facts and circumstances
of the case. A feeling of anguish, disappointment and
frustration in one spouse caused by the conduct of the
other can only be appreciated on assessing the attending
facts and circumstances in which the two partners of
matrimonial life have been living. The inference has to be
drawn from the attending facts and circumstances taken
cumulatively. In case of mental cruelty it will not be a
correct approach to take an instance of misbehavior in
isolation and then pose the question whether such
behavior is sufficient by itself to cause mental cruelty. The
approach should be to take the cumulative effect of the
facts and circumstances emerging from the evidence on
record and then draw a fair inference whether the
petitioner in the divorce petition has been subjected to
mental cruelty due to conduct of the other.”

31. The Apex Court in Vinita Saxena v. Pankaj Pandit, AIR 2006 SC 1662, has observed as under;

“As to what constitute the required mental cruelty for
purposes of the said provision, will not depend upon the
numerical count of such incidents or only on the
continuous course of such conduct but really go by the
intensity, gravity and stigmatic impact of it when meted
out even once and the deleterious effect of it on the
mental attitude, necessary for maintaining a conducive
matrimonial home.

If the taunts, complaints and reproaches are of ordinary
nature only, the court perhaps need consider the further
question as to whether their continuance or persistence
over a period of time render, what normally would,
otherwise, not be so serious an act to be so injurious and
painful as to make the spouse charged with them
genuinely and reasonably conclude that the maintenance
of matrimonial home is not possible any longer.”

32. Human mind is extremely complex and human behavior is equally complicated. Similarly human ingenuity has no bound, therefore, to assimilate the entire human behavior in one definition is almost impossible. What is cruelty in one case may not amount to cruelty in other case. The concept of cruelty differs from person to person depending upon his upbringing, level of sensitivity, educational, family and cultural background, financial position, social status, customs, traditions, religious beliefs, human values and their value system. Apart from this, the concept of mental cruelty cannot remain static; it is bound to change with the passage of time, impact of modern culture through print and electronic media and value system etc. etc. What may be mental cruelty now may not remain a mental cruelty after a passage of time or vice versa. There can never be any strait-jacket formula or fixed parameters for determining mental cruelty in matrimonial matters. The prudent and appropriate way to adjudicate the case would be to evaluate it on its peculiar facts and circumstances while taking aforementioned factors in consideration. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com

33. It may be observed here that in matrimonial life, the possibility of such situation that the sister living in parents’ house after her marriage is not an unusual situation. It quite often happen if her relationship with her husband is not very good and she did not feel comfortable then only option for her to live with her parents. Even if such living by the married daughter is for a long period, this cannot be a reason for the sister-in-law to create a situation where relationship between the parties comes to such a situation that they are unable to live together which appears to be a situation created by the appellant and has given reason for filing of this divorce petition. She went to the extent of making allegation against the sister of the husband calling her a person of shady character.

34. Reference can also be made to the judgment delivered in the case of Nemai Kumar Ghosh vs. Smt. Mita Ghosh reported in AIR 1986 Calcutta 150. Para 8 of the aforesaid judgment is relevant which is reproduced here as under:-

“On a conspectus of all these decisions cited
hereinbefore, it is now well settled that if any imputations
against the character of any spouse is alleged either by
the wife or by the husband without any foundation and
the same is based on mere suspicion, even in such
cases such baseless allegations of illicit relationship
amount to mental cruelty and it will be a valid ground for
passing a decree of divorce under the provisions of
S.13(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act. We have already held
hereinbefore on a consideration of the evidence on
record that the respondent wife, since after her marriage
with the appellant, became suspicious about his
character and used to doubt that the appellant was in
illicit connection with his own sister-in-law (elder brother’s
wife). This has caused serious mental pain and agony to
the appellant inasmuch as it has been stated by the
appellant and also pleaded in his petition that he held his
sister-in-law in high esteem like his mother and it was
under her care and affection that he was brought up and
it was she and his elder brother who arranged his
marriage with the respondent. In such circumstances, we
are constrained to hold, considering the social status of
the appellant who is now working as an officer, i.e.
Branch Manager of the United Commercial Bank, that
this behaviour on the part of the respondent amounted to
mental cruelty and it gives sufficient reasons for the
appellant to think that it would not be safe for him to live
with the respondent. Furthermore, it appears that the
respondent after their separation since Sept. 1977, not
only has no mind to patch up the differences and to
return to the matrimonial home for the simple reason that
she has not come up before this Court to contest the
appeal even though this Court directed the appellant to
serve notice of the appeal by registered post and file
affidavit-of-service. Affidavit-of-service has been filed by
the appellant stating that the Court’s order has been
complied with. But in spite of such service of notice, the
respondent did not think it fit to contest the appeal. This
bespeaks the mind of the respondent that she is not
willing to go back to the matrimonial home even if this
action becomes unsuccessful. In these circumstances,
we are constrained to hold that this is a fit case where for
ends of justice the application for divorce should be
allowed. We are fortified by our above findings with the
most pertinent observations of the Supreme Court made
in the case of Sm. Saroj Rani v. Sudarshan Kumar
Chadha, (1984) 4 SCC 90 at p. 98 : (AIR 1984 SC 1562
at p. 1566), paragraph 9 where their Lordships have
held,

“Furthermore we reach this conclusion without any
mental compunction because it is evident that for
whatever be the reasons this marriage has broken down
and the parties can no longer live together as husband
and wife; if such is the situation it is better to close the
chapter.”

35. In recent judgment delivered by the Apex Court in the case of K. Srinivas Rao vs. D.A. Deepa reported in (2013) 5 SCC 226 in the following words:-

“27.We need to now see the effect of the above events. In
our opinion, the first instance of mental cruelty is seen in the
scurrilous, vulgar and defamatory statement made by the
respondent-wife in her complaint dated 4/10/1999
addressed to the Superintendent of Police, Women
Protection Cell. The statement that the mother of the
appellant-husband asked her to sleep with his father is
bound to anger him. It is his case that this humiliation of his
parents caused great anguish to him. He and his family
were traumatized by the false and indecent statement made
in the complaint. His grievance appears to us to be justified.
This complaint is a part of the record. It is a part of the
pleadings. That this statement is false is evident from the
evidence of the mother of the respondent-wife, which we
have already quoted. This statement cannot be explained
away by stating that it was made because the respondentwife
was anxious to go back to the appellant-husband. This
is not the way to win the husband back. It is well settled that
such statements cause mental cruelty. By sending this
complaint the respondent-wife has caused mental cruelty to
the appellant- husband.

respondent-wife in her complaint dated 4/10/1999
addressed to the Superintendent of Police, Women
Protection Cell. The statement that the mother of the
appellant-husband asked her to sleep with his father is
bound to anger him. It is his case that this humiliation of his
parents caused great anguish to him. He and his family
were traumatized by the false and indecent statement made
in the complaint. His grievance appears to us to be justified.
This complaint is a part of the record. It is a part of the
pleadings. That this statement is false is evident from the
evidence of the mother of the respondent-wife, which we
have already quoted. This statement cannot be explained
away by stating that it was made because the respondentwife
was anxious to go back to the appellant-husband. This
is not the way to win the husband back. It is well settled that
such statements cause mental cruelty. By sending this
complaint the respondent-wife has caused mental cruelty to
the appellant- husband.

36. Besides the specific act of mental cruelty making false allegations against the sister of the respondent, it is also matter on record that the appellant filed various such complaint under Section 498-A of IPC under Domestic Violence Act. In those proceedings, the appellant even opposed the bail application went to the extent of filing revisions against the grant of bail to the respondent and his family members. Such conduct on the part of the appellant further constitute mental cruelty.

37. Just to appreciate as to what may constitute mental cruelty one may take note of the judgment of the Apex Court delivered in the case of Malathi Ravi, M.D. vs. B.V. Ravi, M.D. Reported in (2014) 7 SCC 640, wherein the Apex Court approvingly brought earlier judgment delivered on the subject in the case of Samar Ghosh vs. Jaya Ghosh reported in 2007 4 SCC 511 wherein some illustrative cases of mental cruelty were mentioned. The aforesaid discussion appears in para 30 of this judgment in the following words:-

“30. In Samar Ghosh vs. Jaya Ghosh this Court has
given certain illustrative examples wherefrom inference of
mental cruelty can be drawn. The Court itself has
observed that they are illustrative and not exhaustive. We
think it appropriate to reproduce some of the illustrations:
(SCC pp. 546-47, para 101)

“(i) On consideration of complete matrimonial life of
the parties, acute mental pain, agony and suffering as
would not make possible for the parties to live with each
other could come within the broad parameters of mental
cruelty.

(ii) On comprehensive appraisal of the entire
matrimonial life of the parties, it becomes abundantly
clear that situation is such that the wronged party cannot
reasonably be asked to put up with such conduct and
continue to live with other party.

* * *

(iv) Mental cruelty is a state of mind. The feeling of deep
anguish disappointment, frustration in one spouse
caused by the conduct of other for a long time may lead
to mental cruelty.

* * *

(vii) Sustained reprehensible conduct, studied neglect,
indifference or total departure from the normal standard
of conjugal kindness causing injury to mental health or
deriving sadistic pleasure can also amount to mental
cruelty.

* * *

(x) The married life should be reviewed as a whole and a
few isolated instances over a period of years will not
amount to cruelty. The ill conduct must be persistent for a
fairly lengthy period, where the relationship has
deteriorated to an extent that because of the acts and
behaviour of a spouse, the wronged party finds it
extremely difficult to live with the other party any longer,
may amount to mental cruelty.

* * *

(xiv) Where there has been a long period of continuous
separation, it may fairly be concluded that the
matrimonial bond is beyond repair. The marriage
becomes a fiction though supported by a legal tie. By
refusing to sever that tie, the law in such cases, does not
serve the sanctity of marriage; on the contrary, it shows
scant regard for the feelings and emotions of the parties.
In such like situations, it may lead to mental cruelty.”

38. Para 32 and 33 of the same judgment are also relevant which are reproduced here as under:-

32. In Vishwanath Agrawal v. Sarla Vishwanath Agrawal, while dealing with mental cruelty, it has been opined thus:

“22. The expression ‘cruelty’ has an inseparable
nexus with human conduct or human behaviour. It is
always dependent upon the social strata or the milieu to
which the parties belong, their ways of life, relationship,
temperaments and emotions that have been conditioned
by their social status.”

33. In the said case, analysing the subsequent events and the conduct of the wife, who was responsible for publication in a newspaper certain humiliating aspects about the husband, the Court held as follows:

“54…In our considered opinion, a normal
reasonable man is bound to feel the sting and the
pungency. The conduct and circumstances make it
graphically clear that the respondent wife had really
humiliated him and caused mental cruelty. Her conduct
clearly exposits that it has resulted in causing agony and
anguish in the mind of the husband. She had publicised
in the newspapers that he was a womaniser and a
drunkard. She has made wild allegations about his
character. She had made an effort to prosecute him in
criminal litigations which she had failed to prove. The
feeling of deep anguish, disappointment, agony and
frustration of the husband is obvious.”

39. In view of the aforesaid, I do not find any infirmity in the conclusion drawn by the lower Court holding that the appellant was guilty of inflicting the cruelty upon the husband including mental cruelty of the worst kind. In such situation, the lower Court was justified in dissolving the marriage between the parties by decree of divorce under Section 13 (1) (ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

40. In such circumstances asking the respondent-husband to live with the appellant-wife in the matrimonial house as husband and wife by passing a decree of restitution of conjugal rights under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act as prayed for by the appellant in the counter claim also, was rightly refused.

41. In view of the aforesaid, we find that the judgment delivered by the lower Court does not suffer from any infirmity. Accordingly, the appeal filed by the appellant is hereby dismissed.

(M.C. Garg)                 (Sheel Nagu)
Judge                         Judge
…/01/2015                 …/01/2015


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This judgment and other similar judgments posted on this blog was / were collected from Judis nic in website and / or other websites of Govt. of India or other internet web sites like worldlii or indiankanoon or High court websites. Some notes are made by Vinayak. Should you find the dictum in this judgment or the judgment itself repealed or amended or would like to make improvements or comments, please post a comment on the comment section of the blog and if you are reading this on tumblr please post responses as comments at vinayak.wordpress.com . Vinayak is NOT a lawyer and nothing in this blog and/or site and/or file should be considered as legal advise.
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One thought on “MA LLB wife files 498a & aleges husbnd has ilicit relaton wid OWN sister. Cruelty decreed . MP HC

  1. 498A victim

    ஆபாச க​தை,. தி​ரைக்க​தை — மருமகள் (498ஏ க​தையின் நாயகி)
    இயக்கம் — மாமனார்
    சண்​டைப்பயிற்சி — மருகளின் தம்பி அல்லது அண்ணன்
    தயாரிப்பு உதவி — 498ஏ, Maintenance & D.V. act
    படப்பிடிப்பு நடக்கும் இடம் — மகளிர் காவல் நி​லையம், புழல் சி​றை (இ​டை​வே​லைக்கு முன்பு) நீதிமன்றம் (இ​​டை​வே​லைக்கு பின்பு)

    http://ipc498a-victim.blogspot.com

    Like

    Reply

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