Bad conduct for long amounts to cruelty in marriage: Punjab and Haryana HC | punjab$regional-takes | Hindustan Times
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Bad conduct for long amounts to cruelty in marriage: Punjab and Haryana HC

The order came in the matter of a matrimonial dispute between a Panchkula-based doctor couple. The wife had moved the high court challenging the lower court order allowing divorce plea of her husband.

punjab Updated: Nov 12, 2017 11:24 IST
Surender Sharma
The high court bench said married life is required to be reviewed as a whole and bad conduct must be found persistent, which gives credence to the ‘reasonable apprehension’ to the wronged party that spouse could ‘harm or injure’ them.
The high court bench said married life is required to be reviewed as a whole and bad conduct must be found persistent, which gives credence to the ‘reasonable apprehension’ to the wronged party that spouse could ‘harm or injure’ them. (Shutterstock)

The Punjab and Haryana high court has said that bad conduct of one of the partners for a fairly long period establishes cruelty in a marriage and therefore is a valid ground for divorce.

The high court bench of Justice Jaswant Singh said married life is required to be reviewed as a whole and bad conduct must be found persistent, which gives credence to the ‘reasonable apprehension’ to the wronged party that spouse could ‘harm or injure’ them.

The order came in the matter of a matrimonial dispute between a Panchkula-based doctor couple. The wife had moved the high court challenging the lower court order allowing divorce plea of her husband.

As of “reasonable apprehension”, it has to be interpreted to mean the practical difficulties that a spouse may face while living with the other spouse, the court said.

What the court said
  • A feeling of anguish, disappointment and frustration in one’s spouse caused by the conduct of the other can only be appreciated on assessing the attending facts and circumstances in which the two partners have been living
  • As of “reasonable apprehension”, it has to be interpreted to mean the practical difficulties a spouse may face while living with their partner
  • Harm and injury may not be read as the literal dictionary meaning given to them and it should be read co-jointly with the word “reasonable apprehension”.
  • The inference has to be drawn from the attending facts and circumstances taken cumulatively. The approach should be to take the cumulative effect the facts and circumstances emerging from the evidence on record and then draw a fair inference

The high court further said that ‘harm and injury may not be read as the literal dictionary meaning given to them and it should be read co-jointly with the word “reasonable apprehension”. “It would include mental/physical welfare of a human being and his/her immediate family members. A feeling of anguish, disappointment and frustration in one’s spouse caused by the conduct of the other can only be appreciated on assessing the attending facts and circumstances in which the two partners of matrimonial life have been living. The inference has to be drawn from the attending facts and circumstances taken cumulatively,” the court said. “..the approach, therefore, should be to take the cumulative effect of the facts and circumstances emerging from the evidence on record and then draw a fair inference,” the court said, discussing as to how “reasonable apprehension” of harm and injury can be arrived at.

In the case in hand, the women had filed dowry complaint for which husband was arrested and remained behind bars as well. Later, it came to light that she had not attached any list of articles before police. The women also admitted that case was being pursued by her uncle and not her. The allegation of woman that she was forced for abortion also comes out to be wrong as it came to light that it was carried out due to complications.