The Supreme Court on Friday stated that filing of multiple complaints by an educated wife against her husband amounts to psychological cruelty and also impacts the reputation and career of the individual. The top court has considered this as a valid ground for divorce to the man.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy stated that such behaviour on part of the spouse cannot be termed as “normal wear and tear” of married life, especially when the individual is educated and fully aware of the consequences while filing complaint.
The Supreme Court granted divorce to a military officer whose wife had filed multiple complaints with several authorities, including with the Army chief. The officer had raised concerns that his wife had made a number of defamatory complaints to his superiors within the Army for which a court of inquiry was held against him.
The man also stated that similar complaints had already been filed earlier with other authorities including the State Commission for Women in Uttarakhand.
The wife on her part defended her actions stating that she used this approach only to save her matrimonial relationship.
The Bench, after listening to each side, stated that the woman’s actions undermined the dignity and fame of the officer and the wronged party cannot be allowed to continue to the matrimonial relationship. The husband on his part is well justified to seek separation in this case. The court noted,
Here the allegations are levelled by a highly-educated spouse and they do have the propensity to irreparably damage the character and reputation of the appellant. When the reputation of the spouse is sullied amongst his colleagues, his superiors and the society at large, it would be difficult to expect condonation of such conduct by the affected party.
The apex court quashed the Uttarakhand HC order which had put aside the divorce granted by a family court earlier.
The high court in this case had termed the conduct of the parties as “squabbles of ordinary middle class married life” thereby passing an order in favour of the wife by rejecting divorce.