No relief to man who sought divorce falsely claiming his wife was HIV positive

Published on Nov 24, 2022 12:41 AM IST

Mumbai The Bombay high court has refused to grant relief to a 44-year-old Pune resident who falsely claimed that his wife was HIV positive and sought divorce on that ground

Mumbai, India - September 03, 2021: Bombay High Court at Fort, in Mumbai, India, on Friday, September 03, 2021. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times) (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
Mumbai, India - September 03, 2021: Bombay High Court at Fort, in Mumbai, India, on Friday, September 03, 2021. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times) (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)

Mumbai The Bombay high court has refused to grant relief to a 44-year-old Pune resident who falsely claimed that his wife was HIV positive and sought divorce on that ground.

Last week, the division bench of justice Nitin Jamdar and justice Sharmila Deshmukh rejected the appeal filed by the Pune resident, challenging April 6, 2011, order passed by the Family Court in Pune. The family court had rejected his divorce petition on the grounds of cruelty, desertion and that his wife suffered from a venereal disease in communicable form.

The couple got married in March 2003. According to the husband, an artist, soon found out that his wife, also from Pune district, was suffering from tuberculosis and was treated for the same. He claimed that she was whimsical, short-tempered and stubborn and did not behave properly with his family members that led to constant fights between the two causing him mental agony.

The husband added that in December 2004, the his wife was admitted to the hospital as she had contracted “herpes”. It was during the treatment he claimed she tested positive for HIV. He said the woman had, on her own, left the matrimonial home in February 2005 and did not return.

The woman, on the other hand, blamed her husband for spreading the rumor amongst their relatives and friends that she was HIV-infected because of which she had to undergo great deal of mental agony and her social life was destroyed.

The family court, however, found no substance in husband’s claims and rejected his divorce petition, holding that he had failed to make good any of the grounds and as such was not entitled to decree of divorce. He had then moved the high court, pleading the same grounds.

The high court upheld the family court order after finding that the husband had failed to bring on record any evidence to show that his wife had tested positive for HIV. HC noted that as regards the husband’s allegations of cruelty and desertion, he had failed to provide details and material particulars to support the allegations of cruelty and that his wife left his company without any just cause.

Besides, HC noted, that the husband himself had in his cross examination admitted that no bitter quarrel had taken place between them during their stay of around two years.

As regards his claim of the woman having been found HIV positive, the bench noted that he had failed to submit any proof to substantiate the claim. “There is not an iota of evidence produced by the Petitioner (husband) that the Respondent (wife) had tested positive for HIV, which caused him mental agony or that the Respondent has treated him with cruelty,” said the bench.

On the other, the high court found substance in the claim of the woman that her HIV test was negative, as she had produced her HIV DNA detector reports, showing that both DNA indicators were absent in her case and was examined by a scientist associated with the National Aids Research Institute to support the report.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Special Correspondent. I have spent over a decade covering courts in Mumbai, primarily the Bombay High Court, and including several important trials like trial of 120 accused in March 1993 Mumbai bombings, 26/11 case - trial of Ajmal Kasab.

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