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False allegation of impotency against husband amounts to cruelty, rules Delhi HC

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New Delhi (ILNS): The Delhi High Court on Friday while dealing with a matrimonial case has held that false allegation of impotency against a husband amounts to cruelty by wife under the Hindu Marriage Act.

The wife had filed an appeal before the Delhi High Court against the order of the Family Court whereby the Court while rejecting the relief sought under Section 12(1)(a) and (c), allowed the petition of the husband by granting divorce under Section 13(1)(ia), of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

The husband initially preferred a petition seeking a decree of nullity of marriage under Section 12(1)(a) and (c) of the Act, on two grounds, that the marriage could not be consummated due to Appellant’s impotency and that his consent was obtained by concealing several material facts related to the psychological disposition of the Appellant, knowing which, he would not have consented for the marriage.

In the Written Statement filed before the Trial Court, the Appellant wife interalia pleaded that the husband was suffering from impotency (erectile dysfunction) which was the true cause of non-consummation of marriage. Placing reliance on the wife’s written statement, the husband amended his petition and additionally sought relief of divorce on the ground that the allegations made in the written statement were false and had caused him mental cruelty.

The division bench of the High Court comprising Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula observed that the Courts with respect to the allegations made in pleadings 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.

The Court further referring to V. Bhagat v. D. Bhagat, AIR (1994) SC 710, observed that  “grave false allegations were made by the wife against the husband in her written statement. Such allegations were even put to the husband in cross examination. The Supreme Court held that such allegations were bound to cause mental pain and anguish to the husband amounting to mental cruelty and dissolved the marriage between the parties. In the present case, we therefore agree with Mr. Prabhjit Jauhar that the allegations in the Written Statement are grave and serious accusations, which are likely to impact Respondent’s self-image and adversely affected his mental well-being. Thus, having regard to the law on the subject, we find no infirmity in the findings and observations of the trial court that the allegation of the Appellant in the Written Statement with respect to the impotency clearly falls within the concept of cruelty as defined under law.”

Concurring with the Trial court’s order the bench further observed that “these false accusations which could not be proved are bound to cause deep hurt and anguish to the Respondent, who can reasonably apprehend that it would be perilous for him to live with the appellant. It is also abundantly clear that due to the mental pain, agony and suffering caused by the false accusations, the Respondent cannot be asked to put up with the conduct of the Appellant and to continue to live with her. Therefore, we do not find any infirmity in the impugned judgment on this ground as well.”

Read the judgment here;


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