The Supreme Court upheld a Delhi High Court order against a woman who made baseless and false allegations against her husband alleging impotency. The apex court said that either partner making such accusations without evidence amounts to cruelty, and thus becomes a ground for divorce.
A bench of Justices L Nageshwara Rao and Anirudhha Bose did not interfere with the high court verdict and dismissed the plea of a woman who had made the allegation against her husband in the court challenging the divorce. The bench quoted:
No party can be excused of recklessness in allegations made before the court of law. The consequences of false assertions have to follow.
The couple got married in 2012. This was husband’s second marriage and the first for his wife.
Within a short time, husband moved family court in Delhi to nullify the marriage on grounds that the woman was unable to conceive, due to which they could not consummate their marriage. The man also alleged that his consent was obtained by concealing several material facts related to her psychological disposition. The husband’s lawyer then argued:
Had he known them, he would not have consented for the marriage.
The woman in her response, before the family court alleged that the husband was suffering from impotency (erectile dysfunction), which was the real reason for non- consummation of marriage. She also levelled allegations of torture by her in-laws and accused them of demanding dowry.
Delhi High Court
In November last year, the Delhi High Court upheld the divorce granted to a man, whose estranged wife had claimed that he was incapable of sexual intercourse.
The high court agreed with the submission of the husband’s counsel that the allegations levelled in the written statement filed by the wife were “grave and serious”, and likely to impact the man’s self-image and adversely affect his mental wellbeing, reported TOI.
The bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula then said,
Thus, having regard to the law on the subject, we find no infirmity in the findings and observations of the trial court that the allegation of the appellant (wife) in the written statement with respect to the impotency clearly falls within the concept of cruelty as defined under law.
The high court’s verdict came while dismissing the woman’s appeal against a trial court order granting the husband’s petition for grant of divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act.
The wife subsequently approached the Supreme Court and pleaded that divorce on the ground of cruelty be quashed and she be allowed to get divorce through mutual consent, however, her plea was opposed by her husband’s advocate, Prabhjit Jauhar.
The high court also noted that the woman had been reinforcing the allegation of impotency throughout the litigation and these false accusations which could not be proved are bound to cause deep hurt and anguish to the man, who can reasonably apprehend that it would be perilous for him to live with her. Adding that there was an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, the Delhi High Court then said:
It is also abundantly clear that due to the mental pain, agony and suffering caused by the false accusations, the respondent (man) cannot be asked to put up with the conduct of the appellant (woman) and to continue to live with her.
Author: Nandini Shah is 3rd Year Journalism student doing her internship with MDO
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