A false character assassination charge by a spouse would be “matrimonial cruelty” entitling the other to seek divorce, Delhi High Court said today. “It is now beyond cavil that if a false character assassination allegation is made by either spous, it would invariably constitute matrimonial cruelty to entitle the other spouse to seek divorce,” a bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani said.
The court observed this while dismissing a woman’s plea challenging a trial court order allowing her husband’s petition for divorce on the ground of cruelty. Concurring with the trial court findings, the high court said the reasons recorded by the Family Court while granting divorce was fully borne out from the material available on record and “cannot be faulted with”.
“Therefore, the decree of divorce granted by the Family Court has to be upheld,” the bench added.
The man, who is a teacher in a school here, had sought divorce claiming he was a non-smoker and a teetotaler, but was defamed by his wife as an alcoholic and a womaniser.
“This adversely affected his reputation in the family so much so that he even thought of committing suicide,” the high court noted in its verdict.
The woman, however, had refuted his claim and said she was harassed by demand for dowry. Brushing aside the woman’s contention, the court observed that “the disgusting accusations made by the wife against the husband of being in illicit relationship, referring him as a drunkard, are serious in nature assassinating his character and harming his reputation as a teacher.
“She has failed to prove any of the above but yet resisting the divorce which, if accepted, would make life of the two even more complex and unbearable. The allegations made not only in the written statement but also in the FIR against the husband and his entire family have the effect of causing mental cruelty to him and his entire family,” it added.