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Refusing to severe the matrimonial ties would cause further mental cruelty to the other spouse: Delhi High Court

The mental pain, agony, and suffering caused by the false accusations, other spouse cannot be asked to put up with the conduct of the spouse and to continue to live, was held in case of  Kirti Nagpal vs Rohit Girdhar, MAT.APP.(F.C.) 92/2020 &CM APPLs. 14842-14843/2020 by the bench comprising of Justice Sanjeev Narul and Justice Manmohan.

 In the present case, the marriage between the parties was solemnized on 24th June, 2012 at Delhi as per the Hindu rites and ceremonies. The marriage was also registered in Delhi on 31st August, 2012. The Respondent(Husband) initially preferred a petition seeking a decree of nullity of marriage under Section 12(1)(a) and (c) of the HMA, on two grounds, that the marriage could not be consummated due to Appellant’s (Wife) impotency and that his consent was obtained by concealing several material facts related to the psychological disposition of the Appellant, knowing which, he would not have consented for the marriage.

The Learned Trial Court held that the Appellant had treated the Respondent with cruelty within the meaning of the section 13(1)(ia) of HMA and thus decided in favour of the Respondent. Besides, the Court also observed that the relationship between the parties had deteriorated to such an extent that it became impossible for them to live together without mental agony, torture or distress. Aggrieved with the above order, the Appellant has approached this court praying for the stay and setting aside of the impugned judgment alleging that the Learned Trial Court’s conclusion is not based on correct appreciation of the facts, the evidence, as well as the law.

This Court, answered the question, whether a false allegation of impotency amounts to cruelty within the meaning of Section 13(1)(ia) of the HMA. The Supreme Court has elaborately discussed the concept of mental cruelty in Samar Ghosh v. Jaya Ghosh (2007) 4 SCC 511. Indeed, mental cruelty is a state of mind and what might be cruelty in one case may not be so in another case, as observed by the Trial Court.

The Court in the present case observed:

“ The cruelty in the instant case is of enduring and profound nature. Thus, notwithstanding the fact that there is no allegation of cruelty in the original petition, the Trial Court was justified to conclude that it was of grave nature that caused lasting disruption in the relationship between the parties. We also note that the Appellant’s conduct of making unfounded allegations has continued right up to the appellate stage, as has been pointed out by Mr. Jauhar in his submissions. These false accusations which could not be proved are bound to cause deep hurt and anguish to the Respondent, who can reasonably apprehend that it would be perilous for him to live with the appellant. It is also abundantly clear that due to the mental pain, agony and suffering caused by the false accusations, the Respondent cannot be asked to put up with the conduct of the Appellant and to continue to live with her. Therefore, we do not find any infirmity in the impugned judgment on this ground as well”

 Thus the Court disposed of the appeal drawing the conclusion that the trial Court cannot be faulted with.

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