Abusing 498(A), forcing husband to abandon parents ‘grounds for divorce’ – Bangalore Mirror
ABUSING 498(A), FORCING HUSBAND TO ABANDON PARENTS ‘GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE’
By Shyam Prasad S, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Updated: Apr 27, 2017, 12.51 AM IST
Abusing 498(A), forcing husband to abandon parents ‘grounds for divorce’
Filing a false criminal case under Section 498A (subjecting married woman to cruelty) itself is cruelty against the husband and his family and is ground for divorce, the High Court has said. It has also said that forcing a husband to stay away from his parents by establishing a separate residence also amounts to cruelty against him.
A 35-year-old woman had approached the High Court challenging the grant of divorce by a family court in Ballari. Her husband had filed the case for divorce in 2013.
The family court had granted divorce on grounds of cruelty and desertion. The wife had filed a criminal case against the husband alleging harassment for dowry and subjecting her to cruelty. However, this case came to be dismissed.
The husband had filed for divorce on the grounds that the false criminal case against him and his family amounted to cruelty against him. Citing a Supreme Court judgement, the HC said, “Knowingly and intentionally filing of a false complaint by the wife, calculated to embarrass and incarcerate the appellant and seven members of his family unquestionably constitutes cruelty,” and “Even one such complaint is sufficient to constitute matrimonial cruelty.”
The woman had accepted in the cross-examination of the criminal case that except for a gold chain, the husband and his family members had returned all other jewels to her. “Had there really been dowry harassment by her husband and in-laws, they would not have returned gold jewellery to her. This again shows that she has practised mental cruelty against her husband and her in-laws,” the HC noted.
The husband had also claimed that she tortured him to establish a separate residence, which he did. But the wife left him a few months after that and never returned.
Citing another SC judgement, the High Court said that “persistent effort of the wife to be separated from the family would be torturous for the husband and constitutes act of cruelty”. So the wife “compelling her husband to stay away from his parents amounts to cruelty.”
In the current case, the HC said the wife was “pestering her husband to establish a separate residence and accordingly he has established a separate residence, in spite of the same, she was torturing him, due to which he attempted to commit suicide.” The couple were married in 1999. They began living separately from the husband’s family in 2000.
While the HC upheld the grant of divorce, it modified the family court order in terms of the alimony. The family court had ordered a monthly maintenance
of Rs 4,000 for the wife and Rs 3,000 for their minor son to be paid by the husband. The HC ordered that the husband pay Rs 5,000 a month for the maintenance of the minor son and Rs 10 lakh as permanent alimony to the wife.
Husband also can fi le domestic violence case
In another major development on the men’s rights issue and gender equality, the High Court had recently said that a husband can file a complaint of domestic violence against his wife and her family members under The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. One Mohammed Zakhir had filed a private complaint against his wife, her brothers and father alleging domestic violence against him.
The sessions court had rejected his complaint as not maintainable under the law. Zakhir then approached the High Court. Justice Anand Byarareddy of the HC has ruled that a husband can file a complaint of domestic violence against his wife under this Act. It said that the words “adult male” has been deleted from Section 2(q) of the Act as per the Hiral P Harsora vs Kusum Narottamdas Harsora case by the Supreme Court. When the law is read without those words, the Act could be applied to both male and female victims of domestic violence. The HC order came on April 18.