Delhi High Court Affirms Divorce, Deeming Public Harassment and Defamation by Wife as Extreme Cruelty

LI Network

Published on: December 24, 2023 at 12:00 IST

The Delhi High Court upheld the divorce granted to a couple on grounds of cruelty, emphasizing the wife’s actions of publicly harassing and humiliating her husband.

The Court, comprising Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna, deemed the wife’s portrayal of her husband as a “womanizer” before his colleagues as an act of extreme cruelty.

The division bench highlighted that baseless, defamatory, and unsubstantiated accusations by one spouse, especially those with the potential to publicly tarnish the other’s image, constitute acts of extreme cruelty.

The Court underscored the significance of trust, faith, and respect as fundamental pillars in any marriage, asserting that no individual should be expected to endure disrespectful behavior from a partner who lacks faith.

The judgment emphasized that spouses not only anticipate mutual respect but also expect their partner to serve as a protective shield for their image and reputation in times of need. Unfortunately, in this case, the court noted that the husband was subjected to public harassment and humiliation by his wife, who went to the extent of accusing him of infidelity during office meetings, in front of colleagues and guests.

The wife’s actions, including harassing female colleagues and portraying her husband as a womanizer, were deemed acts of extreme cruelty.

The Court dismissed the wife’s appeal against a family court order that granted divorce on the grounds of cruelty as asserted by the husband. It stressed that successful marriages are built on mutual respect and faith, and if compromised beyond a certain point, the relationship becomes untenable.

Furthermore, the Court remarked on the wife’s use of their child as a weapon, completely alienating the child from the husband. The acts of cruelty, spanning six years of their marriage, inflicted mental agony and trauma on the husband, leading to contemplation of suicide at times.

In the present case as well, the child has not only been totally alienated but has also been used as a weapon against the father. Nothing can be more painful for a parent than to see the child drifting away and being totally against the father. This assumes some significance in the light that the father never failed to provide as required for the child,” the court concluded.

Title: X v. Y

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