JUDGEMENT ATTACHED BELOW:
The Bombay high court has granted divorce to a man who was subjected to barbs about infidelity by his wife due to his late working hours. "The (unsubstantiated) allegations are certainly serious and the husband is bound to undergo mental pain, agony and suffering," said a division bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice R Y Ganoo while dissolving the couple's 24-year-old marriage on grounds of cruelty.
"We are inclined to observe that the unsubstantiated allegations levelled by the wife in the written statement as well as in her evidence and also evidence of her father amounted to mental cruelty as the wife has failed to prove those allegations by examining appropriate witnesses ," said the judges. The court held that the bare words of the wife or her father, who in this case was an interested witness, would not suffice.
Pune residents Rajesh Mohite (48) and Meena had married in 1987, according to Buddhist rituals, and have two sons. According to Rajesh, Meena was always suspicious and used to level "defamatory allegations" that he used to be out of the house till late night as he had "some affair with a woman" . Rajesh's lawyers said that the allegations were without substance and had caused psychological trauma to the husband . During the trial, Meena did not deny the allegations. She said that her husband was having a relationship with a woman who ran a telephone booth near his office. She further alleged that Rajesh and the woman had bought a flat in Pune and were living together.
She examined her father as a witness during the trial. The court, however, said that the evidence was not sufficient-she could have but did not call as witnesses the neighbours in the building or the previous flat owner from whom Rajesh had allegedly purchased the flat.
The HC over turned the family court's order refusing to grant divorce. The family court had wrongly relied on a supposed admission in the cross*xamination that he had purchased a flat jointly with another woman, the high court stated. The judges said that given Rajesh's consistent denial of knowing the other woman; it was unlikely that he would admit to having purchased the flat jointly with her. "The net result of the discussion is the wife treated her husband with cruelty by levelling unsubstantiated allegations that he is having illicit relations," the high court stated. (Names changed to protect identity)