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Matrimonial Lawyer: Legal action(s) initiated by wife against husband cannot be a ground of mental cruelty for divorce; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice A S Bopanna and Justice R. Banumathi

The SC {Ravinder Kaur v. Manjeet Singh (Dead) through Lrs.} after setting aside the decree granted for divorce by HC on the ground of cruelty, holds that if  the respondent husband is to contend that the allegations of illegitimate relations made against him by the wife has amounted to mental cruelty, then in that case, the   bald  allegations made by the   respondent against   the   appellant­ wife   would   also   amount   to   the same, therefore, the husband cannot contend that the same has caused mental cruelty to him. And, even otherwise, the said instances cannot be held sufficient to cause mental cruelty to the husband of the degree as required for granting divorce under the Act. The HC erred in granting divorce by setting aside the judgment of the trial Court.

It was further held by the SC that insofar as the action taken by the appellant herein to file a police complaint and the proceedings initiated under Section 107/151 of Cr.PC it is the natural legal course adopted by respondent to protect her right and possession of the property.  It was held that it is not in dispute that at the point when a complaint was filed and a suit was also stated   to   have   been   filed   by   the   appellant herein   on 05.09.1995 there was misunderstanding brewing in the marital life of the parties and in that circumstance the appellant herein had adopted the  legal course to protect her rights. It was held that such action taken in accordance with law cannot, in any event, be considered as inflicting cruelty as   the   legal   proceedings was used   only   as   a   shield against the assault. Therefore, the decree of divorce granted by the HC was set aside by the SC.

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