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Delhi HC: Minor inconsistencies in the wife’s statement during cross-examination before Family Court does not make her an unreliable witness

2 min read

Munmun Kaur-

Published on: December 2, 2021 at 20:05 IST

In a case before Family Court, the wife had filed a divorce petition against her husband on the grounds that he ill-treated her and that he had a bipolar disorder that was hidden from her. The Family Court then granted her divorce on the grounds of cruelty u/s 13(1)(ia) and (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Aggrieved by the judgement, the husband appealed in Delhi High Court claiming the wife to be an unreliable witness.

Delhi High Court observed, “We do note there was indeed a minor inconsistency in the statement of the Respondent-wife during her cross-examination relating to the payment of Household expenses. However, the same is a minor aberration and does not make the Respondent-wife an unreliable witness,”

Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh while rejecting the husband’s allegation and upholding the Family Court’s judgement also said that “Inconsistencies of such a minor nature neither change the thread nor the essence of the judgment. The contradictions pointed out by the Appellant are not so serious as to change the finding, persuading us to set aside the impugned judgment, nor are they so grave that they violate the principles of natural justice.”

The High Court also made an observation that what may constitute cruelty in one case may not constitute cruelty in another.

Therefore, each case and relationship must be viewed separately and in its own totality. Also, when it comes to cruelty, that too mental cruelty, there can be no set parameters.