Wife making secret phone calls defying husband's warning is matrimonial cruelty: Kerala high court

Published on Feb 20, 2022 08:35 AM IST

Granting divorce to a warring couple, the Kerala high court, however, noted that the evidence of secret phone calls at night is not adequate to accuse adultery. 

The Kerala high court granted divorce to the couple on the ground of matrimonial cruelty. 
The Kerala high court granted divorce to the couple on the ground of matrimonial cruelty. 
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

A wife making secret phone calls to another man at odd hours ignoring her husband's warning amounts to matrimonial cruelty, the Kerala high court ruled granting a decree of divorce to a couple, in a judgment, as reported by Livelaw. The husband had appealed to the high court challenging the verdict of a family court that had earlier dismissed the husband's appeal seeking the dissolution of marriage on the ground of adultery and cruelty.

The high court, however, noted that the evidence of phone calls between the wife and a third party is not enough to infer adultery on part of the wife. But the court said that given the ongoing marital discord between the parties and the fact that they separated three times and got reunited following several counselling sessions, the wife should have been more vigilant in her behaviour.

The marital discord between the couple who have a child began in 2012 when the wife had filed a complaint against the husband and his family members accusing them of assault. Even before that, the husband has been suspecting that his wife had a relationship with another man from the office before their marriage which continued after.

As the court dismissed the adultery angle, it said the husband never saw the wife and the second person together at any place other than at their working place and hence the evidence is inadequate.

"The husband deposed that on one occasion, he overheard the intimate conversation between the wife and the second respondent and on questioning, she told him that the second respondent was having more right over her body and mind than him. According to the husband, she continued making calls with the second respondent in spite of his warning. It shows that even after the husband questioned the wife about her telephone conversation with the second respondent, and even after she realised that the husband did not like her making such telephone calls, she continued to make telephone conversation with the second respondent on almost all days, and several times on a single day. It is also pertinent to note that during evidence, the wife deposed that she used to call the second respondent only on certain days. However, documentary evidence proved otherwise. Making discreet phone calls frequently by the wife with another man disregarding the warning of the husband, that too at odd hours, amounts to matrimonial cruelty," Justice Kauser Edappagth observed in his verdict.

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