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Ranjeet Kaur vs Saranjeet on 20 November, 2019

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* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Reserved on : 18th November, 2019
% Date of Judgment: 20_November, 2019

+ MAT.APP.(F.C.) 214/2018 CM. APPL. 34217/2018 CM
APPL 53384/2018

RANJEET KAUR ….. Appellant
Through: Mr. Vijay Kinger, Advocate

versus
SARANJEET ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. Prabhjit Jauhar, Ms. Upasna Goel
and Ms. Aishwarya, Advocates
CORAM:
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE G.S. SISTANI
HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE JYOTI SINGH

G.S. SISTANI, J.

1. The present appeal has been filed under Section 19 of the Family
Courts Act, 1984 against the judgment dated 22.01.2018 passed by the
Family Court by which the petition filed by the respondent/husband
seeking divorce under Section 13(1) (ia) of the SectionHindu Marriage Act,
1955 (hereinafter referred to as ‘HMA’) has been allowed and the
marriage has been dissolved by a decree of divorce.

2. The necessary facts to be noticed for the disposal of the present appeal
are that the marriage between the parties was solemnized on
20.11.1977, at Patel Nagar, New Delhi, as per Sikh rites and
ceremonies. Three children were born from the said wedlock. The
parties have been living separately since 1995. A petition under
Section 9 of HMA was filed by the appellant/wife in the year 2008, a

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 1 of 24
compromise was arrived between the parties on 12.09.2008. The
petition seeking divorce under Section 13(1) (ia) of HMA was filed by
the respondent/husband on 01.08.2009.

3. The grounds on which the divorce was sought were that the
appellant/wife was stated to be in an illicit relationship with one
Mohd. Ahmad Ansari, a rickshaw puller, who used to drop the
children of the appellant/wife and the respondent/husband to school. It
is also pleaded by the respondent/husband that the appellant/wife was
very cruel to the mother of the respondent/husband who was an old
lady aged about 70 years to the extent that a complaint had to be
lodged by the mother-in-law on 19.11.1993. It was further pleaded that
the respondent/husband was shunted out by the appellant/wife in the
year 1995. Moreover, the appellant/wife purchased a house from the
respondent/husband’s funds bearing no B-61, Gali no 18, Jitar Nagar,
Delhi wherein she was keeping her paramour Mohd. Ansari. Further,
the appellant/wife filed a petition under Section 9 of HMA, however a
compromise was arrived on 12.09.2008. The appellant/wife also filed
criminal complaints against the respondent/husband. A petition was
also filed in this court alleging the fact that the respondent/husband
had committed the murder of the son of the parties i.e. Amarpreet
Singh. The appellant/wife also made allegations against the
respondent/husband of having alliances with other women including
the widow of their son and one Gyan Kaur.

4. The case set up by the respondent/husband was that he has made
complaints dated 23.11.1993, December 1994, 29.12.1995,
22.06.1998, 22.07.1998, 27.07.1998, 28.07.1998, 29.07.1998,

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 2 of 24
25.07.2002 and 03.08.2002 against his wife alleging cruelties against
him.

5. In her preliminary objections, the appellant/wife stated that the
respondent/husband had filed the petition based on false and
concocted incidents and that she never had an intimate relationship
with the said rickshaw puller. On merits, she submitted that after the
solemnization of their marriage, the respondent/husband raised
unjustified demands for costly items and asked the appellant/wife for
Rs.25,000/-; and that she was turned out of her matrimonial home. It
was further submitted that the appellant/wife’s father paid Rs.40,000/-
to the respondent/husband. She also contended that her father helped
in purchasing the house bearing no. 264, Gagan Vihar, Delhi. It was
further submitted that in the year 2002, the respondent/husband left the
appellant/wife and her daughters to fend for themselves and took their
son Amarpreet Singh to live with him. For the last several years, the
respondent/husband is living in Patparganj, Delhi where the
appellant/wife has alleged that he has a flourishing business with two
factories and he is keeping alliance with women. She denied the
claims made by the respondent/husband that she had treated her
mother-in-law with cruelty.

6. On 24.11.2010, the following issues were framed by the Family Court;

“1. Whether the respondent has, after the solemnization of the
marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty? OPP

2. Relief.”

7. In support of his case, the respondent/husband examined himself as
PW-1 and tendered his affidavit by way of evidence as Exhibit PW-
1/A and relied upon documents viz copy of the police complaint

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 3 of 24
lodged by his mother against the appellant/wife on 19.11.1993 as
Mark A; the police complaint filed by him on 23.01.1993 as Ex. PW-
1/2, copy of complaint dated 29.12.1995 as Mark B and copy of
proceedings u/s 107/151 SectionCrPC against Mohd. Ansari as Mark C. The
respondent/husband was also examined by the Family Court under
order 10 CPC. In support of her case, the appellant/wife examined
herself as RW-1 and tendered her evidence by way of affidavit Ex.
RW-1/A.

8. The Family Court after examining the pleadings and evidence on
record, noticed that in fact, cruelty had been made out as firstly, the
appellant/wife had indulged in an intimate relationship with the said
rickshaw puller and had continued to do so, even after objections from
the respondent/husband and her family and secondly, she resorted to
the character assassination of the husband and made unfound/ false
allegations against him, putting the respondent through mental
sufferings. She even stated that the respondent was responsible for the
murder of their only son. The appellant/wife utterly failed to prove the
allegations made by her and the respondent/husband was thus able to
prove the issue in his favor that there was cruelty on part of the
appellant/wife.

9. Mr. Vijay Kinger, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
appellant/wife submits that in order to prove the ground of cruelty, the
respondent/husband has relied upon the photocopies of the complaints
filed by him as well as by his mother against the wife/appellant herein.
It is contended that the said complaints were not proved by the
respondent/husband in accordance with Section 61, 63 and 65 of the

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 4 of 24
SectionIndian Evidence Act, 1872. The counsel further contended that the
entire case of the respondent/husband is premised on such complaints
and thus in the absence of the complaints proved, the Family Court has
erred in granting divorce. It is further contended that
respondent/husband was examined as PW-1 before the Family Court
and he has neither brought on record the original complaints nor
record was summoned from the concerned Police Station in order to
prove the same. In the absence thereof, the complaints cannot be read
as part of the evidence as per Section 61 of the Indian Evidence
Act,1872. The learned counsel for the appellant/wife has relied upon
the judgment rendered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Oriental
Insurance Company Ltd. Vs Prem Lata Shukla and Others (2009) 1
SCC (Crl) 204 (SC)

10. It is further contended that the respondent/husband, in his testimony
before the learned Principal Judge, could not prove the cruelty that
was done at the hands of his wife/appellant. He has placed reliance on
the examination-in-chief and the cross examination of PW-1 i.e. the
respondent/ husband, the relevant portion of which is reproduced
hereinunder:

“HMA 280/10
Examination-in-chief of PW-1 Shri. Saranjeet Singh dated
18.11.2011
“The documents exhibited in the affidavit as “EX-PW1/1,
EX-PW-1/3, EX-PW1/4 are de-exhibited and are marked as
Mark A, B and C respectively”.

Cross- examination of PW-1 Shri. Saranjeet Singh dated
18.11.2011
“I do not have any document and also not able to produce
any document which proves the handwriting and signature

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 5 of 24
of my mother except document filed in the Court as Mark A.
I cannot produce any other person except me to prove the
signatures of my mother as appeared on document Mark A.
It is correct that the text of Mark A was not written by my
mother but she put the signatures on it..”

“I do not have any knowledge as to where the Respondent q
usually used to go in my absence. I have lodged Ex. PW- 1/2
with police authority and Mark B and complaints dated
25.07.2002, 22.06.1998, 29.06.1998, 22.07.1998,
28.07.1998, 02.09.2002 (the photocopies of these are
available in the records).”

“Except my aforesaid complaints I do not have any other
proof which can show the adulterous relationship between
the respondent and said Ahmed Ansari.”

“It is correct that I have never seen the adulterous position
between Respondent/Appellant and Ahmed Ansari because
the door was always bolted from inside whenever the
respondent and Ahmed Ansari remained in the room in
compromising position.”

“It is correct that the said Ahmed Ansari was also remained
on his said work to take my children from school to home
and home to school. I could not remove said Ahmed Ansari
from his work because whenever I tried the respondent used
to call the police and harass me.”

Cross- examination of PW-1 Shri. Saranjeet Singh dated
19.11.2011
“It is correct that I have not taken any assistance of any
person in the dispute of me and my wife because of social
prestige. It is correct that I did not mention about the fact of
unlawful intimacy between my wife and Ahmed Ansari in the
letter EX-PW-1/2 is false one because there was no
unlawful intimacy between my wife and Ahmed Ansari. It is
wrong to suggest that my wife never maltreated to me”

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 6 of 24

“…I am the proprietor of one factory namely Bamra
Engineering Works and also a Director in another company
namely Bamra Machines and Tools Pvt. Ltd. I have no other
running factory. (Vol. I am also Director in the company
namely Micro Mould India Pvt. Ltd. had property No.174
Patpar Ganj Delhi and also in Jeet Engineering at
Patparganj Delhi but I have closed my business of Jeet
Engineering approximately in the year 1988). Since
beginning the Respondent was the Director in Bamra
Machines and Tools Pvt. Ltd. but later on she resigned with
her own consent.”

“It is correct that the Respondent was a household lady as
and when we lived together.(Vol. I have no knowledge
whether the respondent used to do any work in my
absence).”

“It is correct that I have leveled the averments of adultery
against my wife with Sh. Mohd. Ansari but I cannot produce
any document and evidence to proof my said averment.
Again said I can produce the evidence and in this regard on
the next date of hearing. I have no mentioned the
particulars of the evidence in my list of witnesses.”

“I have not seen from my eyes the Respondent and Sh.
Mohd. Ansari in compromising condition as they used to
bolt the door from inside and therefore, I could not see
them.”

“It is correct that I have filed a petition U/s 9 HMA against
the respondent in the year 2008 which was duly
compromised in the presence of Ld. Mediator. It is correct
that I had compromised all such previous disputes with the
Respondent as held till date. Thereafter I started residing
with Respondent at 264, Gagan Vihar, Delhi. Vol. At first
floor of the above-said house.”

11. Learned counsel for the appellant/wife has placed reliance on SectionSuman
Singh vs Sanjay Singh, Civil Appeal No. 7114-7115 of 2014 and

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 7 of 24
SectionS.Hanumantha Rao vs S. Ramani reported at 1999 3 SCC 620, the
relevant paragraph of which is reproduced hereinunder:

“The last act of the respondent, which according to the
learned counsel for the appellant, amounts to mental cruelty is
that she lodged a complaint with the Women Protection Cell,
through her uncle and as a result of which the appellant and
the members of his family had to seek anticipatory bail. The
respondent in her evidence stated that she had never lodged
any complaint against the appellant or any members of his
family with the Women Protection Cell. However, she stated
that her parents sought help from Women Protection Cell for
reconciliation through one of her relative who, at one time,
happened to be the Superintendent of Police. It is on the
record that one of the functions of the Women Protection Cell
is to bring about reconciliation between the estranged spouses.
There is no evidence on record to show that either the
appellant or any member of his family were harassed by the
Cell. The Cell only made efforts to bring about reconciliation
between the parties but failed. Out of panic if the appellant
and members of his family sought anticipatory bail, the
respondent cannot be blamed for that. Thus, we are of the
opinion, that representation made by the parents of the
respondent to the Cell for reconciliation of the estranged
spouses does not amount to mental cruelty caused to the
appellant.”

12. Per contra, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
respondent/husband, Mr. Prabhjit Jauhar, has vehemently opposed the
appeal. He submits that there is no infirmity in the order passed by the
Family Court as various instances of cruelty have been made out. It is
contended by the counsel of the respondent/husband that the parties
have been residing separately for more than 23 years and therefore the
entire substratum of the marriage has eroded away. It is stated that the
appellant/wife has in the past broken the leg of the

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 8 of 24
respondent/husband’s mother and has even threatened/attempted to
kill her. Thereafter, the appellant/wife in her cross examination
refused to comment on her relationship with her mother-in-law. The
Family Court further rendered findings to the effect that the
petitioner/wife was infact involved in an illicit relationship with a
rickshaw puller.

13. It is also submitted by the learned counsel for the respondent that the
Family Court has rightly relied upon the incident of 16.09.2008
wherein the appellant/wife had tried to implicate the husband in a false
case by pouring kerosene oil on herself alleging that the respondent
therein had intentions of killing her. Further, the testimony reveals that
during the short period of compromise between the parties, there had
been no resumption of cohabitation as the appellant/wife admitted in
her cross-examination that since the year 2008, parties have not had a
physical relationship.

14. It is further contended that the appellant/wife in order to put the
respondent/husband through mental trauma and in order to defame
him, alleged that he had killed their only son; and was involved in an
intimate relationship with their daughter-in-law and many other
women including one Gyan Kaur. It is therefore contended that a
conclusion may be drawn that the aforementioned unfounded
allegations as levelled by the appellant/wife are sufficient to rupture
the nuptial bond between the parties. The appellant/wife has caused
immense mental torture to the respondent/husband.

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 9 of 24

15. Reliance is placed by the learned counsel for the respondent on K.

SectionSrinivas Rao vs D.A. Deepa reported at 2013 (5) SCC 226, wherein it
was held as under:

“14…Making unfounded indecent defamatory allegations
against the spouse or his or her relatives in the pleadings,
filing of complaints or issuing notices or news items which
may have adverse impact on the business prospect or the job
of the spouse and filing repeated false complaints and cases
in the court against the spouse would, in the facts of a case,
amount to causing mental cruelty to the other spouse.

26. Irretrievable breakdown of marriage is not a ground for
divorce under the SectionHindu Marriage Act, 1955. But, where
marriage is beyond repair on account of bitterness created
by the acts of the husband or the wife or of both, the courts
have always taken irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a
very weighty circumstance amongst others necessitating
severance of marital tie. A marriage which is dead for all
purposes cannot be revived by the court’s verdict, if the
parties are not willing. This is because marriage involves
human sentiments and emotions and if they are dried-up
there is hardly any chance of their springing back to life on
account of artificial reunion created by the court’s decree…”

16. Reliance is also placed on SectionVinod Kumar Subbiah vs Saraswathi
Palaniappan reported at 2015 (8) SCC 336 wherein it was held that if
a spouse abuses the other as being born from a prostitute, this cannot
be termed as “wear and tear” of family life. Summoning the police on
false or flimsy grounds cannot also be similarly viewed.

17. Reliance is also placed on SectionSavitri Pandey vs. Prem Chandra Pandey
(2002) SCC 73, wherein the Apex Court while constructing the
meaning of cruelty as a ground of divorce u/s 13(1) (ia) observed that
Cruelty may be physical or mental. Mental cruelty is the conduct of

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 10 of 24
other spouse which causes mental suffering or fear to the matrimonial
life of the other.

18. Reliance is also placed by the learned counsel for the respondent on V.

SectionBhagat vs D. Bhagat reported at (1994) 1 SCC 337, SectionVijay Kumar
Ramachandra vs Neela Vijay Kumar reported at (2003) 6 SCC 334,
SectionR vs J reported at (2018) DMC 803 (SectionDel), Samar Ghosh vs Jaya
Ghosh reported at (2007) 4 SCC 511, SectionReena Devi vs Ravinder
reported at II (2017) DMC 428 (DB) (DEL), Raj Talreja vs Kavita
Talreja reported at, SectionMeenakshi Mehta vs Major Atul Mehta being
FAO(HMA) 321/1998 at the High Court of SectionHimachal Pradesh,
Kamlesh Kumari vs Vinod Kumari reported at III (2011) DMC 673.

19. We have heard learned counsels for the parties and examined their
rival submissions together with the pleadings and evidence on record.

20. We have examined the specific imputations of cruelty that the Family
Court has referred to in the impugned judgment. We shall first
examine the meaning of mental cruelty under Section 13 (1) (ia) of
HMA. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in V. Bhagat (supra) has defined
mental cruelty under Section 13 (1) (ia) of HMA as under:

“16. Mental cruelty in Section 13(1)(i-a) can broadly be
defined as that conduct which inflicts upon the other party
such mental pain and suffering as would make it not
possible for that party to live with the other. In other words,
mental cruelty must be of such a nature that the parties
cannot reasonably be expected to live together. The situation
must be such that the wronged party cannot reasonably be
asked to put up with such conduct and continue to live with
the other party. It is not necessary to prove that the mental
cruelty is such as to cause injury to the health of the

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 11 of 24
petitioner. While arriving at such conclusion, regard must be
had to the social status, educational level of the parties, the
society they move in, the possibility or otherwise of the
parties ever living together in case they are already living
apart and all other relevant facts and circumstances which it
is neither possible nor desirable to set out exhaustively.
What is cruelty in one case may not amount to cruelty in
another case. It is a matter to be Determined in each case
having regard to the facts and circumstances of that case. If
it is a case of accusations and allegations, regard must also
be had to the context in which they were made”.

21. In the facts of the present case, during the cross- examination of the
appellant/wife, upon being questioned about her relationship with her
mother-in-law, the appellant/wife stated “I do not want to give reply
about my relation with my mother-in-law Mrs. Niranjan, nor I want to
disclose the reason, why I do not want to reveal the same.” Such a
deliberate concealment, when there are specific allegations of treating
the mother-in-law with cruelty, would certainly result in an adverse
inference against the appellant. Further, the appellant/wife could not
say whether her mother-in-law came to meet her on 19.11.1993. In the
next breath, she denied the suggestion that on 19.11.1993, she had
come to meet her. The respondent/husband has filed a copy of the
police complaint dated 19.11.1993 filed by his mother, wherein it was
stated that on the preceding night, at about 11:00-11:30 PM, the
appellant/wife had come to the mother-in-law’s house, threatening to
kill her. However, she was unsuccessful as the door could not be
opened. The mother-in-law dialled the emergency helpline 100 and the
police arrived and took the appellant/wife out of the building. The
respondent/husband’s mother alleged that the appellant/wife was still

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 12 of 24
threatening over the phone to kill the her. The mother-in-law further
alleged that it was the appellant/wife who had earlier broken her leg.

22. As far as the submission with regard to the relations of the
appellant/wife with Mohd. Ahmed Ansari, it is the contention of the
respondent/husband that the appellant/wife did not discontinue her
relationship with the said Mohd. Ahmed Ansari, even after the turmoil
in her matrimonial life on that account. In his testimony, the
respondent/husband relied upon the copy of the complaint dated
29.12.1995 as Mark B and the copy of the proceedings under Section
107/Section151 Cr.PC against Mohd. Ahmed Ansari as Mark C. The
respondent/husband has filed several police complaints which are
exhibited as Ex. PW-1/P1 to Ex. PW-1/P3 and Ex. PW-1/2 and Mark
A and Mark B. Whereas, the appellant/wife in her cross-examination
took inconsistent stands firstly by deposing that she did not remember
the name of the rickshaw puller who used to take her children to the
school. She straightaway refused that she knew any person by the
name of Mohd. Ahmed Ansari whereas in her written statement and
affidavit of evidence, she mentioned Mohd. Ahmed Ansari as the
rickshaw puller who used to ferry the children to school. Not only this,
even during the cross-examination Mohd. Ahmed Ansari was
mentioned as the rickshaw puller who used to take the children to their
school. Thus, the contradictory stand taken by her in her cross-
examination shows that she tried to evade questions about her
relationship which Mohd. Ahmed Asnari which in our considered
opinion gives rise to an adverse inference against the appellant/wife.

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 13 of 24

23. Further, in the cross-examination, the appellant/wife stated that she
was not aware of any kalandra that was filed by the police under
Section 107/Section151 of CrPC regarding the quarrel between the
respondent/husband herein, their son and Mohd. Ahmed Ansari. When
it was put to her in her cross-examination that the said Mohd. Ahmed
Ansari was residing in her house situated at Jitar Nagar, Delhi and that
the petitioner and their son had a quarrel with him, as they had an
objection against her relationship, she simply said she did not know.
The attested copy of the kalandra under Section 107/Section151 CrPC dated
03.08.2002 which is marked as Mark C not only corroborates the
testimony of the respondent/husband in this respect but also proves
that the said Mohd. Ahmed Ansari was living in the house bearing No.
B-61, Gali no. 18, Jitar Nagar, Delhi. The said discrepancies in the
statement of the appellant/wife to blow hot and cold at the same time
which cast nothing but only aspersions on her testimony and have
fortified the case of the respondent/husband that she continued to have
contact with Mohd. Ahmed Ansari despite objections being raised; not
only by the respondent/husband but even her children’s plea. All
through her cross-examination she remained evasive and incoherent.
In her cross-examination, she squarely refused to reply with regard to
the character of the respondent/husband. She could not bring on record
the actual bone of contention between them and tried to avert the
answer to the questions put to her in her cross-examination. This does
show friction between the parties regarding Mohd. Ahmed Ansari,
however, we are unable to say any further in view of the cross-
examination wherein the respondent/husband deposed the following:

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 14 of 24

“HMA 280/10

Cross- examination of PW-1 Shri. Saranjeet Singh dated
18.11.2011
“…Except my aforesaid complaints I do not have any other
proof which can show the adulterous relationship between
the respondent and said Ahmed Ansari.”

“…It is correct that I have never seen the adulterous
position between Respondent/Appellant and Ahmed Ansari
because the door was always bolted from inside whenever
the respondent and Ahmed Ansari remained in the room in
compromising position…”

Cross- examination of PW-1 Shri. Saranjeet Singh dated
19.11.2011
“…It is correct that I have leveled the averments of adultery
against my wife with Sh. Mohd. Ansari but I cannot produce
any document and evidence to proof my said averment.
Again said I can produce the evidence and in this regard on
the next date of hearing. I have no mentioned the
particulars of the evidence in my list of witnesses.”

“…I have not seen from my eyes the Respondent and Sh.
Mohd. Ansari in compromising condition as they used to
bolt the door from inside and therefore, I could not see
them.”

In view of what has been testified by the respondent/husband, it cannot
be conclusively held that the appellant/wife was in an illicit relationship
with Mohd. Ahmed Ansari. This friction, can however, be well termed
as mental cruelty.

24. The respondent/husband also relied upon two incidents of 2008. The
husband alleged that in the year of 2008, the wife filed a petition under
Section 9 of HMA; the matter was compromised by him on

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 15 of 24
12.09.2008 in the mediation cell at Karkardooma courts, Delhi for the
life and career of their grown up children. However, only four days
after, on 16.09.2008, the appellant/wife tried to implicate the
respondent/husband in a case by pouring kerosene on herself. The
respondent/husband deposed that the appellant/wife was warned orally
by the police, and no action was taken against her due to her old age
and reputation of the family. We deem it appropriate to reproduce para
15 of the appellant/wife’s written statement wherein she has replied to
the said allegation of pouring kerosene.

“15… it is correct that on 16.09.2008, the petitioner came
to Gagan Vihar house and misbehaved with the respondent
and children, on their asking him to set aside some thing as
per his status, for maintaining them and also for (sic)
finding suitable match for her daughters living with
respondent. The petitioner instead of agreeing to do same
thing for the respondent and children, poured (sic) kerosene
oil on the respondent when the children were not at home.
Respondent fearing harm, ran to the street outside, where
she was beat mercilessly. Accordingly, the petitioner to get
excused from his own acts, rang up police at number 100,
on coming of the PCR, the matter was entrusted to police
station, where statement of the respondent was recorded.
Since the petitioner is a rich person, the police in his league
did not take any action against him. It is correct that the
petitioner to get rid of the respondent wanted to kill her. It
is wrong that the respondent has alleged, wants to remove
the petitioner from her ways, to live with Mr. Ansari.”

The appellant/wife has alleged that it was in fact the
respondent/husband who poured kerosene oil on her and subsequently
she had to run outside the house wherein she was beaten mercilessly
by the husband. The fact that the appellant/wife did not pursue the
matter gives rise to an adverse inference that it was she who poured

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 16 of 24
the kerosene oil on herself. As far as the influence of the
respondent/husband over the police is concerned, the same is not
believable in view of the cross-examination of the appellant/wife
wherein she has admitted that the respondent /husband was arrested by
the police. The relevant portion of the cross-examination dated
29.01.2014 of RW-1, Smt. Ranjeet Kaur :

“Q. Did police ever arrest (sic) or send (sic) the petitioner
to jail on the complaints filed by you?

Ans. No. Voln. He was detailed in the PS for whole night for
many times.

My husband remained in the custody of the police at PS
Preet Vihar many times but I do not remember the date,
month or year of the same. It is wrong to suggest that I am
deposing falsely in the context and the petitioner was never
detained by the police.

Q. I put to you that you have filed the following cases
against your husband (1) u/s 125 SectionCr.P.C. pending before
Ms.Vandan Jain, Ld. MM, KKD (2) Criminal Rivision NO.
16/2013 before Sh. Sanjay Garg, LD. ASJ which has been
decided. (3) Civil Suit NO.327/2012 before Sh.Raj Kumar,
Ld.CJ, KKD which was withdrawn by you unconditionally
(4) CC No.DV3/2013 pending before Ms.Vandana Jain,
Ld.MM, KKD (5) CC2/2012 pending before Sh.SPS Laler
Ld.MM, KKD (6) Case No.280/06 which was pending
before the court of Ms.Poonam Chaudhary, Ld.MM and the
same was withdrawn by you and (7) Petition bearing
No.459/2008 u/s 9 HMA has been compromised by you.
What you have to say?

Ans. Yes the same are correct.”

25. The Family Court has rendered findings to the effect that the
appellant/wife has filed several petitions in this court against the
respondent/husband. The appellant/wife has filed certified copies of

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 17 of 24
the complaint filed by her under Section 300 CrPC along with the
copy of the FIR no 266/16 under Section 306/Section34 IPC. In the said
complaint, the appellant/wife alleged an illicit relationship between the
respondent/husband and his daughter-in-law i.e Namrata, who is the
widow of their deceased son Amarpreet Singh. During the cross-
examination of the appellant/wife, she admitted to have filed as many
as seven cases in various courts, besides a writ petition in this court
against the respondent/husband and his family members. When she
was asked as to how many times had she meet her daughter-in-law,
she replied that she had met her for the first time at the time of the
death of her son, Amarpreet, at the cremation ground. We agree with
the finding rendered by the Family Court that the appellant/wife left
no stone unturned to malign the reputation of the respondent/husband
by levelling baseless and unfounded allegations. If she truly believed
that the said allegations were true, she should have pressed the matter
till it attained finality.

26. The appellant/wife has gone to the extent of making the allegation
against the respondent/husband that he along with their son-in-laws
got their son, Amarpreet Singh murdered on 22.07.2013. However, in
her cross-examination she stated that she did not know the name of the
said son-in-laws. She stated “It is correct that our only son Amarpreet
Singh died on 22.07.2013. Vol. I state that he was murdered by the
father/petitioner and his son-in-laws.” The Family Court perused the
status report filed in the court wherein the autopsy surgeon opined
that, “In my opinion, to the best of my knowledge and belief, death in
this case was due to Aluminum Phosphide poisoning.” It is our

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 18 of 24
considered opinion that making unfounded allegations on your spouse,
specially alleging the murder of your son, is an unparalleled form
mental torture, and amounts to very grave form of mental cruelty. The
appellant/wife failed to bring any cogent evidence, nor was she able
to prove the allegations through her testimony. Levelling such severe
allegations cannot be treated as ordinary wear and tear married life.
They are bound to stigmatize the character of the recipient and cause
immense mental agony and misery to the sufferer.

27. In view of Section 20 of HMA, the court is empowered to act upon
unfounded allegations in the pleadings and the same maybe treated as
evidence. The unsubstantiated allegations averred by the
appellant/wife are sufficient to rupture the nuptial bond between the
parties, and cause immense torture, particularly when the said
allegations were not proved in the concerned court of law. We would
like to extract Section 20 of HMA, which reads as under:-

’20. Contents and verification of petitions. –
(1) Every petition presented under this Act shall stated as
distinctly as the nature of the case permits the facts on which
the claim to relief is founded [and, except in a petition under
Section 11, shall also state] that there is no collusion between
the petitioner and the other party to the marriage.

(2) The statements contained in every petition under this Act
shall be verified by the petitioner or some other competent
person in the manner required by law for the verification of
plaints, and may, at the hearing, be referred to as evidence.’

28. In the case of SectionJayanti vs Rakesh Mediratta reported at 2016 (4) CLJ
498 Del, this court held as under :

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 19 of 24

“6. In matrimonial proceedings, the pleadings assume grave
significance. In view of Section 20 of Hindu Marriage Act,
1955 the Court is empowered to act upon unfounded
allegations in the pleadings treating the same as evidence.”

29. Further, the Family Court also rendered a finding to the effect that the
appellant/wife had alleged in her written statement that the
respondent/husband was keeping alliance with other women, including
his daughter-in-law. However, she failed to substantiate the said
allegations with any kind of evidence. She further alleged that the
respondent/husband left the house in 1994-1995 to live in Patparganj,
in his own house and factories with another lady Smt. Gyan Kaur.
Whereas, in her cross-examination she stated that the
respondent/husband was having relations with one Smt. Gyan Kaur
who she had met only once in the factory of the respondent/husband
and did not know her husband’s address and never had any
conversation with her. She was not aware of the illicit relationship of
the respondent/husband with other women. The appellant/wife did not
make any efforts to prove any of her imputations against the
respondent/husband. She clearly stated that she does not want to reply
to the question, when she was asked whether she had any complaint
against her husband. The appellant/wife only wanted to assassinate the
character of the respondent/husband. She has unceremoniously shirked
from the responsibility of proving the allegations by adducing
evidence of any witness or by producing any documents. In her
incoherent deposition, she went on to depose that it might have been
possible that the written statement filed by her could have been signed
by anybody else as even her ITRs were being signed and filed by

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 20 of 24
somebody else in her name, therefore, she could not say whether the
written statement filed in court bears her signature.

30. The law is well-settled that if the wife makes wild and unsubstantiated
allegations on the character of the husband by calling him a
womanizer, by humiliating him in public and by filing frivolous
litigation; it would undoubtedly cause a feeling of deep anguish and
agony on the husband. This attitude of causing humiliation and
calculated torture on the part of the wife to make the life of the
husband miserable amounts to causing grave mental cruelty. In the
case of Vishwanath vs Sau Sarla Vishwanath Agarwal, reported at
2012 (7) SCC 288, it was held as under:

“In our considered opinion, a normal reasonable man is bound
to feel the sting and the pungency. The conduct and
circumstances make it graphically clear that the respondent-
wife had really humiliated him and caused mental cruelty. Her
conduct clearly exposits that it has resulted in causing agony
and anguish in the mind of the husband. She had publicised in
the newspapers that he was a womaniser and a drunkard. She
had made wild allegations about his character. She had made
an effort to prosecute him in criminal litigations which she
had failed to prove. The feeling of deep anguish,
disappointment, agony and frustration of the husband is
obvious. It can be stated with certitude that the cumulative
effect of the evidence brought on record clearly establish a
sustained attitude of causing humiliation and calculated
torture on the part of the wife to make the life of the husband
miserable. The husband felt humiliated both in private and
public life. Indubitably, it created a dent in his reputation
which is not only the salt of life, but also the purest treasure
and the most precious perfume of life. It is extremely delicate
and a cherished value this side of the grave. It is a revenue
generator for the present as well as for the posterity. Thus
analysed, it would not be out of place to state that his brain

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 21 of 24
and the bones must have felt the chill of humiliation. The
dreams sweetly grafted with sanguine fondness with the
passage of time reached the Everstine disaster, possibly, with
a vow not to melt. The cathartic effect looked like a distant
mirage. The cruel behaviour of the wife has frozen the
emotions and snuffed out the bright candle of feeling of the
husband because he has been treated as an unperson. Thus,
analysed, it is abundantly clear that with this mental pain,
agony and suffering, the husband cannot be asked to put up
with the conduct of the wife and to continue to live with her.
Therefore, he is entitled to a decree for divorce.”

31. Further, the learned counsel for the appellant/wife had alleged that the
photocopies of the complaints filed by him as well as by his mother to
prove the ground of cruelty were not proved by the
respondent/husband in accordance with Section 61, Section63 and Section65 of the
Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Therefore, in the absence of their
production in court, the Family Court has erred in granting divorce
between the parties. However, in the facts and circumstances of the
present case, photocopies of complaints dated 22.06.1998, 29.06.1998
and 28.07.1998, 19.11.1993, 23.11.1998, 29.12.1995 have been
proved as Ex. PW-1/P1 to Ex. PW-1/P3 and Ex. PW-1/2 and Mark A
and Mark B. Moreover, the said complaints are not the only material
on record to prove the cruelty done by the appellant/wife against the
respondent/husband.

32. Many police complaints have been filed by the parties raising several
allegations against each other. Only a few of those complaints have
been exhibited in the proceedings. Although the kalandra under
Section 107/Section151 CrPC dated 03.08.2002 has not been proved, we

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 22 of 24
deem it necessary to reproduce the following paragraph from the
cross-examination dated 29.01.2014 of RW-1, Smt. Ranjeet Kaur :

“Q. Did police ever arrest (sic) or send (sic) the petitioner
to jail on the complaints filed by you?

Ans. No. Voln. He was detailed in the PS for whole night for
many times.

My husband remained in the custody of the police at PS
Preet Vihar many times but I do not remember the date,
month or year of the same. It is wrong to suggest that I am
deposing falsely in the context and the petitioner was never
detained by the police.

Q. I put to you that you have filed the following cases
against your husband (1) u/s 125 SectionCr.P.C. pending before
Ms.Vandan Jain, Ld. MM, KKD (2) Criminal Rivision NO.
16/2013 before Sh. Sanjay Garg, LD. ASJ which has been
decided. (3) Civil Suit NO.327/2012 before Sh.Raj Kumar,
Ld.CJ, KKD which was withdrawn by you unconditionally
(4) CC No.DV3/2013 pending before Ms.Vandana Jain,
Ld.MM, KKD (5) CC2/2012 pending before Sh.SPS Laler
Ld.MM, KKD (6) Case No.280/06 which was pending
before the court of Ms.Poonam Chaudhary, Ld.MM and the
same was withdrawn by you and (7) Petition bearing
No.459/2008 u/s 9 HMA has been compromised by you.
What you have to say?

Ans. Yes the same are correct.”

33. Upon perusal of the pleadings and evidence led by the parties, and
examination of the reasoning of the Family court, we find that the
appellant/wife has not been able to substantiate the allegations levelled
by her. Cruelty on part of the appellant/wife has been made out. The
parties have been living separately since 1995. It has been more than
24 years and the entire substratum of the marriage has eroded away.

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 23 of 24

Even when the parties resided together from 12.09.2008 after the
mediation settlement, they could not sustain the meditation settlement
even for four days. There was no resumption of cohabitation in the
said period. The appellant/wife has levelled unfounded allegations
against the respondent/husband of committing the murder of their son,
being in an illicit relationship with his daughter-in-law and one Smt.
Gyan Kaur. She has filed frivolous litigation, as far as seven cases in
various courts, besides a writ petition in this court against the
respondent/husband and his family members. The allegations and the
counter-allegations are indicative of the intense rancour and hatred.
Several inter se cases are pending. There has been an irretrievable
breakdown of the marriage. We are of the considered opinion that a
refusal to severe the marriage would cause irreparable harm and
cruelty to the respondent husband.

34. We find no infirmity in the order passed by the Family Court. There is
no merit in this appeal, and the same is accordingly dismissed.

CM APPLs. 34217/2018 53384/2018

35. In view of the order passed in the appeal, the applications also stand
dismissed.

G.S.SISTANI, J.

JYOTI SINGH, J.

NOVEMBER 20, 2019//

MAT. APP (F.C.) No.214/2018 Page 24 of 24

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