False allegation of impotency during divorce amounts to cruelty

 thehindu.com  11/22/2020 19:20:15 

The Delhi High Court has ruled that false allegation of impotency against the husband made before the court during divorce proceedings amounts to cruelty by the wife under the Hindu Marriage Act.

No party can be excused of recklessness in allegations made before the court of law. The consequences of false assertions have to follow, a Bench of Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula said.

Mental agony

It is also abundantly clear that due to the mental pain, agony and suffering caused by the false accusations, the respondent [husband] cannot be asked to put up with the conduct of the appellant [wife] and to continue to live with her, the High Court said.

It also rejected the plea of the wife challenging a decision of a family court allowing the husbands plea for grant of divorce.

At the time of the marriage in 2012, the husbands status was that of a divorcee and the wife was a bachelorette.

Soon, the husband moved a family court here to nullify the marriage on the ground that the woman was unable to conceive due to which they could not consummate their marriage.

The woman, in her response, before the family court alleged that the husband was suffering from impotency (erectile dysfunction), which was the true cause of non-consummation of marriage. She also levelled allegation of torture by her in-laws. They also demanded dowry.

No proof

The family court, however, rejected her plea noting that she had not furnished any proof to substantiate her claim. On the other hand, the husband produced a report from a doctor saying that he was not impotent.

The family court in February this year granted divorce to the husband on grounds of cruelty. This decision was challenged before the High Court by the woman, saying that she has been seeking restitution of conjugal rights and was ready and willing to save matrimonial alliance with the husband.

The High Court, however, rejected her plea noting that the estranged couple have been separated for more than eight years and since the separation has continued for a sufficient length of time, it can be presumed that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

The court also reminded the woman that if it is established from the evidence that the allegations were evidently false, then such baseless allegations made in the written statement can amount to cruelty and the Court can pass a decree of dissolution of the marriage.

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