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P&H HC Approves Polio Patient’s Divorce, Citing Taunting People for their Disabilities as Cruellest Kind of Treatment

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Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: 18 September, 2022 20:10 IST

The Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled in the case of Karamjit Singh v. Davinder Kaur that making fun of someone for their disability is the cruellest treatment that can be given to any person with a disability.

The judgement put an end to a nearly two-decade-old marital conflict of a polio patient who was divorced on the grounds of both mental and physical mistreatment, and it was issued by a bench made up of Justices Ritu Bahri and Nidhi Gupta.

“Taunting a person for his handicap and pushing him around to throw him on the ground when he is helpless and unable to defend himself constitutes the most inhumane kind of cruelty which can be meted out to any disabled person,” said the bench.

An appeal against a decision by the family court to deny the man a divorce on the grounds of cruelty was in front of the court. The wife lied about her age, a past marriage, and the fact that she had a son before the pair wed in 2004. The husband discovered it within a month of the wedding.

Additionally, he alleged that she pushed him to the ground in front of his family and friends while making fun of his disability.

The husband had failed to provide the precise date and location of the alleged occurrences of pushing or taunting by the wife, and thus the family court had refused to accept the arguments.

However, the High Court observed that the family judge did not properly consider the evidence, particularly the testimony of the witnesses who testified for the spouse.

“The impugned order is strangely silent regarding these testimonies. No mention whatsoever is made in the impugned order regarding the statements of these witnesses, which are vital to the case.”

“In our considered view, there is sufficient evidence on record in the form of the testimonies where it is established that the wife ill-treated him for his handicap,” the judges voiced their opinions.

Consequently, the family court’s conclusions were overturned.

The bench further concluded that as both parties had been living separately since 2005, the marriage had irretrievably crumbled.

In dissolving the marriage, the bench stated, “Therefore, this marriage is merely a legal fiction, surviving only on paper.”

Despite finding the wife to be unkind, the court noted that it was aware of both her and the parties’ son’s needs. As a result, the husband was ordered to give the wife 15 lakhs as one-time permanent alimony and to give the kid 10 lakhs.

For the husband, attorney Navjot Singh made an appearance.

The wife was represented by attorney SP Soi.