Court:Madhya Pradesh High Court
Bench: JUSTICE S Khare
Smt. Rajni vs Sanjay Kumar on 10 May, 2002
The allegation of the wife that the husband was demanding dowry and asked her twice to bring the amount of Rs. 10,000/- on each occasion is false. On these findings the decree of divorce has been granted on the ground of cruelty.
1. This is an appeal by the wife challenging the decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty as per Section 13(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. It is not in dispute that appellant Rajni was married to respondent Sanjay Kurnar Jain on 8.5.1990 at Indore. She is living with her parents from 20.6.1991.
2. The case of the respondent Sanjay Kumar is that Rajni started quarrelling just after two months of the marriage. She used to abuse his parents. She did not want to live in the joint family house and insisted that her husband should live with her separately. He took a house on rent and started living with her. She was abusing him even in the rented house. She was misbehaving with him. She was neglecting him and she was not cooking food. She used to leave his house and go to her parents without his permission. She was treating the respondent with mental cruelty. She used to threaten to commit suicide by burning herself.
3. The appellant has denied the allegation of her husband. Her case is that the parents of her husband were demanding dowry and they were beating her. She was turned out of her matrimonial home. The respondent demanded an amount of Rs. 10,000/- and that was paid to him by her father. He also demanded an amount of Rs. 10,000/- for carrying on a cloth shop. He threatened her to cause her death if she does not bring this amount. Her father again gave him an amount of Rs. 10,000/-. She had an abortion on 8.10.1990 but the respondent did not arrange for her medical treatment. He asked her to bring a fridge and a colour T. V. from the house of her parents. For these reasons she is living with her parents.
4. The Trial Court, after appreciation of the evidence adduced by both the parties has held, (a) the wife used to quarrel and abuse the husband and his parents and she was doing so almost every day; (b) the wife threatened to commit suicide; (c) she forced her husband to live with her separately from his parents; (d) the wife did not go to the house of her husband though he came to take her twice; and (e) the allegation of the wife that the husband was demanding dowry and asked her twice to bring the amount of Rs. 10,000/- on each occasion is false. On these findings the decree of divorce has been granted.
5. In this appeal, it has been argued that from the evidence it is not proved that the wife treated the husband with cruelty. It is pointed out that mere incompatibility of temperament and defect of behaviour are not sufficient to prove cruelty. The decision of Delhi High Court in Smt. Asha Handa v. Baldev Raj Handa, AIR 1985 Delhi 76, has been cited.
6. The evidence on record has been scanned by this Court. Sanjay Kumar Jain P.W. 1 has deposed that his wife used to quarrel with him and his parents. She started doing so hardly a month after the marriage. She was insisting for living separately. She was threatening to commit suicide if he did not live with her separately. Therefore, he left the house of his parents and started living with her in a rented house in Patnipura. But his wife was quarrelling with him in that house also. She expressed several times that she did not want to live with him. She used to leave the house and go to her parents. He used to find a lock in his house when he returned from duty. The wife used to return in the night and she was not prepared to tell where she had gone. He went to the house of her parents several times to bring her back but she refused to come with him. He sent a notice Ex. P1 to her. Sanat Kumar Jain P.W. 2 is the husband of the sister of respondent Sanjay Kumar. He has described the events to show that the behaviour of appellant Rajni was abnormal. She would not even prepare tea when he used to go to her husband. According to this witness there was no change in the temperament of Rajni even after her husband started living separately with her.
7. On the other hand Rajni D.W. 1 has deposed that her husband was not behaving with her properly. He used to beat her. He used to demand money from her father. She brought twice the amount of Rs. 10,000/- and gave the same to her husband. He did not provide medical treatment to her when she was admitted in a nursing home. Kanhaiyalal D.W. 2 is father of Rajni. It is really surprising that he does not say anything about the demand of any dowry or the amount of Rs. 10,000/- on two occasions from him. He does not say that he paid Rs. 10,000/- twice to his daughter to give the money to her husband.
8. From the evidence adduced by both the sides, it is found that the findings arrived at by the Trial Court are correct. The wife has made false allegations against her husband regarding the demand of dowry. On a cumulative consideration of the findings recorded by the Trial Court, it is clear that the appellant was treating the respondent with cruelty. In a famous case of Dastane v. Dastane, AIR 1975 SC 1534, it has been held by the Supreme Court that the inquiry in any case covered by the ground of cruelty has to be whether the conduct charged as cruelty is of such a character as to cause in the mind of the petitioner a reasonable apprehension that it will be harmful or injurious for the petitioner to live with the respondent. On examining the facts of the respondent case in light of the principle laid down in this case, it is found that the treatment of the wife towards her husband was cruel. It was not a case of ordinary wear and tear of married life as held in the decision cited by learned Counsel for appellant. The conduct of the wife was such that the husband could not afford to live with her. The Trial Court has rightly granted the decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty by the wife towards her husband.
9. The appeal is dismissed.
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