Lodging false police cases against husband and in-laws amount to cruelty: HC; upholds divorce

Mumbai, Apr 30 (PTI) Observing that lodging of cases on false grounds against husband and his family members amounts to cruelty, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has refused to quash the divorce granted to a couple by a family court.

The HC dismissed the petition filed by a woman seeking restitution of her conjugal rights and challenging a February 2023 order passed by the family court granting the decree of divorce.

The man had sought divorce on the grounds of cruelty and desertion by his wife.

In the order dated April 25, a copy of which was made available on Tuesday, Justice Y G Khobragade said initiating proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act and seeking restitution of conjugal rights do not by itself constitute cruelty.

“But, lodging of various false, baseless reports with the police authorities against the husband, his father, brother and other family members certainly falls within the ambit of cruelty,” the HC stated.

The couple got married in 2004 and lived together till 2012. The man claimed that in 2012, his wife left him for her parents and started living in their house.

The woman later filed various proceedings, including false criminal complaints, against her husband and his family members.

The man claimed in his plea against his wife in the family court that he and his family members suffered mental cruelty due to these false complaints.

He had claimed that his former wife had even gone to the extent of lodging fake and false cases against his father and brother alleging that they had molested her.

They were later acquitted in the case but the man said his family members suffered trauma and loss of their reputation in the society.

In her petition, the woman claimed she lodged cases due to harassment by her in-laws.

The bench agreed with the order passed by the lower court which stated there was cruelty on the part of the woman.

The high court dismissed the woman’s petition, noting that there was no perversity or illegality in the lower court order granting the divorce.

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