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[Landmark Judgement] Vijaykumar Ramchandra Bhate v. Neela Vijaykumar Bhate (2003)

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Landmark Judgment Law Insider (1)

Published on: 23 September 2022 at 21:56 IST

Court – Supreme Court of India

Citation – (2003) 6 SCC 334

Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has held that false averments, accusations and character assassination of the Spouse in the written statement constitutes mental cruelty for sustaining the claim for divorce under Section 13(1)(i-a) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

It is submitted that Apex Court has held that the position of law is well settled and declared that levelling disgusting accusations of unchastity and indecent familiarity with a person outside wedlock and allegations of extramarital relationship is a grave assault on the character, honour, reputation, status as well as the mental health of the Spouse.

Para- 7

The question that requires to be answered first is as to whether the averments, accusations and character assassination of the wife by the appellant husband in the written statement constitutes mental cruelty for sustaining the claim for divorce under Section 13(1)(i-a) of the Act.

The position of law in this regard has come to be well settled and declared that levelling disgusting accusations of unchastity and indecent familiarity with a person outside wedlock and allegations of extramarital relationship is a grave assault on the character, honour, reputation, status as well as the health of the wife.

Such aspersions of perfidiousness attributed to the wife, viewed in the context of an educated Indian wife and judged by Indian conditions and standards would amount to worst form of insult and cruelty, sufficient by itself to substantiate cruelty in law, warranting the claim of the wife being allowed.

That such allegations made in the written statement or suggested in the course of examination and by way of cross-examination satisfy the requirement of law has also come to be firmly laid down by this Court. On going through the relevant portions of such allegations, we find that no exception could be taken to the findings recorded by the Family Court as well as the High Court.

We find that they are of such quality, magnitude and consequence as to cause mental pain, agony and suffering amounting to the reformulated concept of cruelty in matrimonial law causing profound and lasting disruption and driving the wife to feel deeply hurt and reasonably apprehend that it would be dangerous for her to live with a husband who was taunting her like that and rendered the maintenance of matrimonial home impossible.

Drafted By Abhijit Mishra

Key Words – Dissolution of Marriage, Mental Cruelty, Restitution of Conjugal Rights, Character Assasination.