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Bench: JUSTICE H.S. Bedi


Law Point:
Offensive language — Addressed the husband as “Fauji Gadha or Fauji Tatoo” — Would not be acceptable to any self-respecting husband — Cruelty made out.





Mahabir Singh the present appellant was married to the respondent on 27th May, 1984. From the averments made in the petition, the respondent Nirmala Devi stayed with her husband for only 5/6 days after marriage and even during that period her behaviour was not co-operative and she often insulted him in the presence of her family members and friends. It is further stated that after a period of 5/6 days the respondent left her matrimonial home and refused to come back despite the efforts having been made by the elders in the family and also by the village Panchayat. Divorce was thereafter sought on the ground of desertion and cruelty. The respondent controverted the allegations of desertion and admitted the factum of marriage. She also admitted that no child had been born out of the wed-lock. She also pleaded that she had stayed with the appellant for six days on the first occasion and thereafter for a similar period in 1984. It has further been stated by her that the relations between the couple had got strained as the appellant continued making demands for money and presents and that her father had written 3/4 letters to the Commanding Officer of the petitioner and he had also been directed to take her home but as he had not done so, no case of desertion was made out.

2. On the pleadings of the parties, the Trial Court framed the following issues :


Whether the respondent treated the petitioner with cruelty ?




Whether the respondent deserted the petitioner ?



The appellant thereafter filed an amended petition giving more details with regard to the cruelty that he had suffered at the hands of the respondent and it was pointed out that she had often addressed him as ‘Fauji Gadha’ or ‘Fauji Tatoo’, with the result that he had withdrawn from social company. A reply was filed to the amended petition and the respondent has denied all the allegations.

3. After hearing the learned Counsel for the parties, I am of the view that this petition deserved to succeed. It is evident from the record that the parties are living apart since July, 1984 and admittedly no child had been born out of the wed-lock and even the efforts made in the Trial Court and the Lok Adalat for a compromise or for a reconciliation did not prove fruitful. On going through the record, I am of the opinion that there is no reason to disbelieve the petitioner when he says that he had suffered abuse and insult at the hands of the respondent. Offensive language such as Fauji Gadha or Fauji Tatoo would not be acceptable to any self-respecting husband. I am, therefore, of the opinion that a case of cruelty is certainly made out against the respondent. This appeal is accordingly allowed and the appellant is granted a decree of divorce.

Appeal allowed.

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  1. Stuti Saxena January 22, 2018 Reply

    1. Sir, what’s “OPP”, please?

    2. What’s “cruelty” according to Indian law and is “cruelty” delineated according to gender?

    Best regards,


    • Author
      Shonee Kapoor January 26, 2018 Reply

      OPP = Onus of Prove on Petitioner.
      Cruelty has to be seen from each and every incident and on the basis of background of parties. No strait Jacket formula for the same.

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