A husband’s on using offensive slur “kali kaluti” (which aimed to insult skin color) referring her wife was recently factored in by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, allowing the wife’s appeal for divorce on the ground of cruelty.
The High Court Bench of Justices MM S Bedi and Gurvinder Singh Gill was hearing the plea for divorce which was rejected by the Family court in Mahendergarh. The Family court specifying the grounds that wife and her family had not made any effort at compromising and that no complaint was filed to higher authorities regarding the behavior of her husband. Lower Court also claims that wife was not able to recollect the dates of arguing and that the allegation of having been called ‘Kali Kaluti’ was not proved.
The offensive slur “kali kaluti” was in addition to other allegations that the husband had mocked on her. The allegations were related to her inability to cook, husband’s family demanding dowry, and further that they threatened to solemnize the second marriage of the husband. The wife had contended that in these circumstances, she was forced to leave her matrimonial home and reside with her parents.
The Punjab & Haryana High Court set aside the dismissal, holding that the lower court had made a mistake in failing to appreciate that the wife had been compelled to stay away from the house of her husband, owing to the noted acts of cruelty.
Opposing to the lower court’s stance, the High Court accepted that the alleged acts of cruelty were sufficiently proved taking into account the wife’s affidavit and the supporting evidence by her parents as witnesses. The High Court observed that a legal obligation of evidence occur to find out the circumstances under which the wife was forced to leave the matrimonial home.
During the pendency of the Mutual Divorce application filed by the couple, the husband has failed to respond to the allotted dates before the Mediation authority. The High Court ruled in favour of the appellant-wife to award decree of divorce against cruelty. The Court contended that the wife was maltreated and treated shabbily as a result of which she was compelled to stay away from the matrimonial home. The evidence produced on the record is held to be good enough to arrive at a conclusion that the wife was treated with mental and physical cruelty. “The marriage of the appellant –wife with respondent is dissolved by a decree of divorce.”