The actions of the husband alleging that the wife suffered from epilepsy and making unjustified claims that his wife and her relatives had received fake caste certificates culminated in the wife’s mental brutality.
The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court ruled that baseless charges against the partner amounted to mental abuse, upholding the divorce decree issued to the wife by the family court.
A Bench of Justices AS Chandurkar and PV Ganediwala took an adverse view of the claims of the husband about the wife receiving a fake caste certificate and suffering from epilepsy that it concluded were baseless.
The order reads, “This conduct of the husband of not pleading that the wife was suffering from epilepsy and stating the same for the first time in his deposition as well as making wild allegations that the wife and her relatives had secured false caste certificate without attempting to substantiate the said allegations has resulted in causing mental cruelty to the wife, the order reads,”
The Court added that making false claims against the spouse or his/her family or making accusations with a view to influencing the spouse’s work amounts to inducing the spouse mental cruelty.
In this case, the wife had appealed to the family court in Nagpur for divorce based on cruelty and desertion, arguing that the husband and his family had ill-treated her and forced her out of the house after they took her gold ornaments and objects.
The husband refuted these claims claiming that for obtaining jobs, his wife and her family members had obtained baseless caste certificates belonging to ‘Rajput Bhamta.’
The family court ruled, after perusing the facts, that the wife was able to show the accusation of cruelty but not desertion. Consequently, on the ground of cruelty, an order for divorce was passed.
The husband appealed the ruling, arguing that the wife could not prove the accusation of cruelty.
Referring to the facts, he concluded “that there was no substantial evidence brought on record by the respondent to prove the reason for cruelty except for normal wear and tear of marital life.”
Furthermore, the husband claimed that the wife suffered from epilepsy and the family members did not disclose this fact before their marriage. Documentary documentation was also set on paper in that respect.
The wife declined to reiterate that her abuse was not only physical, but rather emotional.
She added that it did not prove the claims that she suffered from epilepsy and that her relatives had received fake caste certificates to gain jobs.
It was argued that such unsubstantiated false claims amounted to emotional cruelty and were properly found by the family court when approving divorce.
The Court acknowledged that the husband did not make a plea to the extent that the woman was suffering from epilepsy. The Court noticed that this was addressed for the first time during his deposition. “The Court said, “In the absence of any plea in this respect by the husband, there was no chance for the wife to challenge the claim that she was suffering from epilepsy.
The Court also observed that the husband confessed to have lodged numerous allegations in the office where the wife was working surrounding the fake caste certificate during his cross-examination. He had made accusations, but by providing evidence, he had not substantiated those allegations.
The High Court ruled that the actions of the husband induced emotional abuse to his wife on the grounds of unsubstantiated charges. It seems from the behavior of the husband that even in one way or the other he designed to prejudice the service of the wife. The result collected by the learned Trial judge of the Family Law that the conduct and the conduct of the husband of making ridiculous and unproven accusations resulted in reducing serious cruelty to the wife doesn’t really deserve to be interfered with,” it stated.