Infidelity claims can be grounds for divorce: Court
Allegations of infidelity, if not proven, amount to cruelty and can be grounds for divorce, the Bombay high court ruled on Friday, while granting divorce to a 48-year-old man.mumbai Updated: Oct 17, 2011 02:07 IST
Allegations of infidelity, if not proven, amount to cruelty and can be grounds for divorce, the Bombay high court ruled on Friday, while granting divorce to a 48-year-old man.
The division bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and RY Ganoo said they were satisfied with the argument put forth by the petitioner, Suresh Mohite – that allegations of infidelity are serious, causing agony and suffering — and terminated the 24-year marriage of Suresh and Latika Mohite, 43.
The court further noted that Latika had not been able to prove that Pune-based Suresh, a peon at the Defence Estate, was having an affair with another woman and had bought a flat where Suresh and his alleged lover were living together.
Suresh had moved the high court in 2003, after a family court rejected his petition for divorce. Suresh had filed for divorce claiming that his wife had falsely accused him of having an extra-marital affair.
Suresh’s advocate RV Govilkar submitted that the allegations were made without any substance and had caused psychological trauma to Suresh.
While filing the divorce petition, Suresh had also contended that his wife had deserted him.
Latika’s lawyer, however, argued that a minimum of two years is required to get divorce on grounds of desertion by wife, but Latika had left Suresh in February 1998, while the divorce petition was filed in November 1999.
Latika’s lawyer further said that there were contradictions in the evidence presented by Suresh, regarding him having an extra-marital affair, which show that Suresh had admitted to the affair.
The court, however, held that the contradictions were a result of a typographical error in the evidence, as the main ground for filing for divorce was that Suresh denied the affair.
The court said the evidence merely gives the impression that Suresh knew the alleged lover because she was working near his office.
The court cited an apex court observation that levelling the accusation of unchastity and extra-marital relationship is a grave assault on the character, honour, reputation, status and health of the person, which would amount to worst form of insult and cruelty.
(Names changed to protect identities)