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It's often heard, that Cruelty is one of the major grounds for Divorce, but are women the only victims of ‘Cruelty’? Does the law provide some provisions to the men who face the situation of cruelty by their wives?
In a recent judgment passed by the Kerala High Court, the court observed that use of insulting language, disgraceful behaviour in public and challenging the dignity of the husband before his friends, family and colleagues will come under cruelty (by the wife). The Division Bench of Justice AM Shaffique and Justice P. Somarajan set aside the order passed by the family court in the matter revolving around V.V. Prabhakaran vs. T. Chandramathi.
In 2006, even after producing various pieces of evidence before the family court, the court refused to grant him with the divorce. It was clearly proved that the husband was facing continuous mental cruelty where the wife kept challenging his dignity in front of his relatives, friends and officers subordinate to him. It was also stated that earlier his wife had filed a case of 498A IPC but then sorted the matter out of court. More to this, later the husband was also kept away from attending the marriage of his only daughter, subjecting him to a constant torture.
Going through the facts and circumstances of the case, the high court observed that the various letters and complaints written by the respondent against her husband produced before the authorities regarding ridiculing the husband among his officials, friends, and relatives, insulting the husband when he was working and challenging his dignity amounts to cruelty in all means. This was also evident from the oral evidence tendered by the witnesses and annexures produced.
The nature of cruelty can be understood with the anonymous allegations imposed on him, like not inviting him to his daughter’s marriage and continuous behaviour of his wife challenging his dignity. The court further observed that the pain and suffering that the petitioner has gone through can be understood by the fact that at the age of 70, he is still fighting for a divorce. These points cannot be postponed until a later time as it will always remain in the mind of the petitioner as an incurable affliction.
Hence, by setting aside the order of the family court, The Division Bench observed that the earlier criminal case against the husband will not condone and granted him the divorce on grounds of Cruelty by his wife.
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