[Breaking] Using derogatory terms against spouse amounts to cruelty

Division Bench of the Supreme Court consisting of Vikramajit Sen and Abhay Manohar Sapre JJ while allowing a petition for dissolution of marriage on the ground of cruelty held that, either of the spouse to a marriage abuses the other OR calls police and lodge false complaint against the other spouse or his relatives OR refusing to allow close relatives from visiting other spouse and reside in the matrimonial home for some days etc. would amounts to cruelty towards the other spouse for the purpose of divorce (dissolution of marriage) under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

The present case is a series of cases filed between the parties viz. the appellant filed a petition for thedissolution of marriage under Section 13 (1) (ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, petition forrestitution of conjugal rights filed by the respondent under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and a petition for maintenance of Rs. 2 lacs under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code.

After considering the facts and evidences, apex court was of the view that, the Appellant had duly pleaded instances of mental cruelty which he proved in evidence and documents. An examination of the divorce petition makes it abundantly clear that various allegations of cruelty were made out and a number of incidents were mentioned therein. Further evidence was submitted during the course of the Trial to substantiate these allegations, which is in keeping with Order VI Rule 2 of the CPC.

Court was further opined that, the Trial Court examined the evidence at great length and came to the reasoned conclusion that the actions of the Respondent amounted to cruelty. After a cursory discussion of the evidence which the Trial Court had discussed threadbare, the High Court was not justified to set aside the conclusions arrived at by the Trial Court without giving substantiated reasons. Hence, the apex court allowed the appeal and restored the trial court’s verdict granting the divorce to the appellant.

Read full Judgement of Vinod Kumar Subbiah v. Saraswathi Palaniappan (decided on 24-04-2015, Supreme Court)