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Bench: JUSTICE P.C. Verma & Prafulla C. Pant


Law Point:
Husband successfully proved he was treated with cruelty by his wife, by her acts of hurling abuses at him and beating members of his family : Alleged acts of violence on part of wife, committed by her, get corroborated from medical injury report : Allegations made by wife as to harassment on account of dowry, not established on record. Divorce granted.





These two appeals, preferred under Section 19 of Family Courts Act, 1984, are directed against the same judgment and order dated 16.7.2003, whereby the marriage between the parties have been dissolved by a decree of divorce and lumpsum of Rs. 5,00,000/-, has been directed to be paid by the husband, to the wife as alimony. It is further directed in the impugned judgment that the husband shall pay Rs. 2,000/- per month to the wife for maintenance of the minor daughter, living with her, till she attains the age of majority.

2. Brief facts of the case are that Capt. Anup Kumar Kuksal in an ex-serviceman, who is posted as Regional Security Officer with State Bank of India, Dehradun. He got married to Madhu Kuksal on 20.2.1989, at Jaipur, according to Hindu rites. Two siblings, born out of the wedlock are Master Shivesh Kuksal and Miss Kriti Kuksal. One year before the divorce petition was instituted in 1999 by the husband, the relations between the couple soured and they started living separately. Son Shivesh, lives with his father, while the daughter Kriti, lives with her mother. It is alleged in the divorce petition, filed by the husband that wife used to insult him by hurling filthy abuses at him and his mother. It is further alleged that on 19.10.1997, Smt. Madhu Kuksal (wife), not only quarrelled with the husband’s brother’s wife but also slapped her. And got husband’s brother ousted from his house. It is further alleged that thereafter, she threatened to evict mother of the husband who is an old lady. She even beat her causing physical injuries. As such on the ground of cruelty, the husband filed a divorce petition. The petition was contested by the wife and she filed written statement on 16.5.2001. She admitted the marriage between the parties. She also admitted that the two children were born out of the wedlock. However, she alleged that the husband’s relatives from his father’s side were greedy and they used to taunt the respondent-wife. She has further alleged that she was harassed for non-fulfilment of demands for dowry. It is also alleged that her husband and his brother are drunkards. Their behaviour with respondent was not good. She denied having treated the husband with cruelty. Rather it is alleged that she was beaten by the husband and his relatives. Learned Judge, Family Court, Dehradun, after framing the necessary issues, recording the evidence and hearing the parties, decreed the petition of divorce, filed by the husband. However, simultaneously, it is directed that the husband shall pay in lumpsum Rs. 5,00,000/-, alimony to the wife. It is further directed that the petitioner (husband) shall pay Rs. 2,000/- per month to the respondent towards the maintenance of minor daughter, living with her till she attains the age of majority. Aggrieved by which, the wife has filed First Appeal No. 29 of 2003, while the husband has filed First Appeal No. 30 of 2003, for setting aside the direction under Section 25 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, as to the alimony.

3. We heard learned Counsel for the parties and perused the record.

4. The ground on which the husband has sought divorce, under Section 13(1) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, relates to cruelty. Relevant portion of said Act, reads as under:

“13. Divorce—(1) Any marriage solemnized, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party—


(ia) has, after solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty.

(ib) ……..


The word ‘cruelty’, postulates a treatment of the petitioner with such a behaviour, as to cause reasonable apprehension in the petitioner’s mind that it will be harmful or injurious for the petitioner to live with the other spouse. The aforesaid clause applies to the cases of physical cruelty as well as mental cruelty. Existence of cruelty does not necessarily depend on the magnitude but on the consequence of act of cruelty, actual or apprehended. It is settled principle of law that using filthy abusive language against spouse or giving threat to make the matrimonial home a hell, amounts to cruelty. In the present case, the husband has successfully proved that he was treated with cruelty by his wife, by her acts of hurling abuses at him and beating members of his family. The alleged acts of violence on the part of the wife, committed by her, get corroborated from the medical injury report (paper No. 85 A-1). On the other hand, allegations made by wife as to the harassment on account of dowry, are not established on record. Therefore, we are in agreement with the findings of the learned Judge, Family Court, that the petitioner-husband, has been successful in making out a case for divorce on the ground of cruelty.

5. On behalf of the wife, her learned Counsel, argued before us that he has no serious objection to the decree of divorce but the amount of alimony should be enhanced. As against this, learned Counsel for the husband, argued that alimony has been awarded on the higher side, as he has also to make payment at the rate of Rs. 2,000/- separately, for daughter living with her mother. In the facts and circumstances of the case, considering the financial condition and economic status of the parties, we find that the awarded alimony and amount of maintenance are neither unreasonable nor improper. In our considered opinion, the amont of Rs. 5,00,000/- as alimony as well as Rs. 2,000/- per month as maintenance for the daughter, directed to be paid is just and appropriate in the facts and circumstances of the case. Accordingly, we feel that the impugned judgment and order needs no interference by this Court. Therefore, both the First Appeal No. 29 of 2003 and First Appeal No. 30 of 2003, are liable to be dismissed. Both the appeals are dismissed. No order as to costs.

Appeals dismissed.

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