Boutique Litigation Law Firm - Retain Lawyers - Research based Law Firm - Complete legal services

Dismissal of criminal complaint of wife is no ground for divorce - if it is not pleaded in divorce petition that the husband suffered mental cruelty due to filing of false complaint; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice A S Bopanna & Justice R Banumathi & Justice S Abdul Nazeer

The SC {Mangayakarasi v. M. Yuvaraj} holds that a perusal of the judgment of the High Court indicates that there   is   no   reference   whatsoever   with   regard   to   the evidence based on which the dissolution of marriage had been sought, which had been declined by the Trial Court and   the   First   Appellate   Court   and   whether   such consideration had raised any substantial question of law. But the entire consideration has been by placing reliance on   the   judgment   which   was   rendered   in   the   criminal proceedings  and   had   granted   the   dissolution   of   the marriage. It was held that the tenor of the substantial questions of law as framed in the instant case and decision taken on that basis by HC if approved, it would lead to a situation that in every case if a criminal case is filed by one of the parties to the marriage and the acquittal therein would have to be automatically treated as a ground for granting divorce which will be against the statutory provision.

It was held that though a criminal   complaint   had   been   lodged   by   the   wife   and husband has been acquitted in the said proceedings the basis on which the husband had approached the Trial Court is not of alleging mental cruelty in that regard but with   regard   to   her   intemperate   behaviour   regarding which   both   the   courts   below   on   appreciation   of   the evidence had arrived at the conclusion that the same was not proved. In that background, it was held that if the judgment of the High Court is taken into consideration, the  High   Court   was   not   justified   in   its conclusion.

Further, held the SC can in any event exercise the power under   Article   142   of   the   Constitution   of   India   in appropriate cases for dissolution of marriage. However, in the instant facts, it was held that   the   parties   hail   from   a   conservative background   where   divorce   is   considered   a   taboo   and further they have a female child born on 03.01.2007 who is presently aged about 13 years. It was also held that in a matter where the differences   between   the   parties   are   not   of   such magnitude and is in the nature of the usual wear and tear of marital life, the future of the child and her marital prospects   are   also   to   be   kept   in   view,   and   in   such circumstance the dissolution of marriage merely because they have been litigating and they have been residing separately for quite some time would not be justified in the present facts, more particularly when the restitution of conjugal rights was also considered simultaneously.

In the present case, the High Court has through the impugned judgment dated 20.07.2018 allowed the appeals, set aside the order for restitution of conjugal rights and dissolved the marriage between   the   parties   herein.     It   is   in   that   light   the appellant ­wife is before the SC in these appeals.

The SC arrived at the conclusion that the   very   nature   of   the   substantial   questions   of   law framed   by   the   High   Court   is   not   justified   and   the conclusion reached is also not sustainable, the judgment of the High Court is liable to be set aside.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published