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Ill-treating wife for past affair cruelty, ground for divorce: Punjab and Haryana HC

Law provides for dissolution of a marriage by a decree of divorce on various grounds, one of them being cruelty.

punjab Updated: Jun 14, 2018 10:09 IST
Surender Sharma
Surender Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab and Haryana HC,high court,dissolution of a marriage
(Representative image)

Maltreating and torturing the wife over an affair she had before marriage amounts to cruelty, a ground for dissolution of marriage, a Punjab and Haryana high court division bench has held.

Law provides for dissolution of a marriage by a decree of divorce on various grounds, one of them being cruelty.

“… the treatment given to the appellant (wife) by the respondent (husband) is unbecoming of a prudent man. The act of the respondent had been an act of punishment to the appellant merely because she had disclosed truth having an affair with one… ,” the HC bench of justices MMS Bedi and Hari Pal Verma said, allowing an appeal of dissolution of marriage by a Chandigarh woman.

The woman, who got married in November 2012, alleged her husband and his family members tortured her because of which she left his house within 20 days. She had approached the district courts for divorce in 2013, but the plea was dismissed in March 2016. She had challenged this decision in the HC in July 2016.

‘Kept locked in house, thrashed’

Twenty-three-year-old at the time of her marriage, the woman had told court that she was having an affair with another person but her parents forced her to marry the respondent, who was 10 years older to her.

She alleged his family started maltreating and beating her as she had told them about her past affair. She was kept locked in the house and not allowed to meet anyone, court was told.

Her in-laws had accused her of stealing ornaments, but during proceedings in the Chandigarh court, they did not appear as witness to counter her allegations.The husband had denied allegations but admitted to having the knowledge of her past affair.

It also came to light that after she was maltreated, the woman had approached the HC for protection of life and liberty in 2013 and also made two police complaints of alleged torture the same year. The HC bench found that the lower court did not take note of these facts.

“…it is established that the appellant was neither maintained properly nor she was fairly treated. She was given beatings as deposed by her,” the court said, while holding that she had been treated with cruelty by her husband and in-laws and was compelled to leave their house because of this conduct.

First Published: Jun 13, 2018 10:01 IST