The judgement was passed by the division bench of justices Hima Kohli and Asha Menon in appeal against an order passed by a Family Court.

The bench held that the newly married bride to be in her room all day and not showing initiative in doing household work can by no stretch of imagination be described as cruel behaviour towards the husband.

The Appellant was Vishal Singh, seeking resolution of marriage with Respondent Priya and the same was dismissed by the Family Court.

The marriage between the parties was solemnized in November, 2012 in accordance with the Hindu rites and ceremonies.

According to the Appellant it was alleged that the attitude of the Respondent was not positive towards the marriage as they got married in some force, and also alleged that respondent is having an affair with the brother of her brother in law.

The Petitioner alleged that in March,2013 respondent also fled from her Matrimonial home with the intention to get married to her said lover.

Subsequently, respondent was brought back to her matrimonial home by her brother but Appellant did not allow her to enter into the house and thereafter she returned to her parental home.

It was stated by the appellant that although she was apologizing to the appellant for her conduct, at the same time she also claimed that she is more than happy to be in the company of the brother of her brother in law.

On the basis of respondent, the Appellant has filed for divorce petition in court seeking divorce from respondent.

The Respondent opposed the divorce proceedings on the grounds that the Appellant was trying to take advantage of his own wrongs.

The Respondent stated that the Appellant and his family members tortured her for dowry and also has attempted to kill her.

She stated that she herself declared about her love life which was part of her life before marriage but at present it has nothing to do with it.

The Divorce Petition was finally dismissed on the ground that the Allegations that Appellant failed to prove the allegations of unchastity levelled against the respondent and also could not establish that the respondent treated him with cruelty.

After dismissal of the petition, appellant has filed an appeal before the Hon’ble High court against the said Family Court’s Order and High court considered the case before it and observed that the most serious allegations made by the appellant was with regard to the respondent leading an adulterous life.

The court, However noted that while the Appellant failed to file any proof regarding the allegation of adultery of adultery post marriage, the fact that the Respondent had an affair before marriage was completely meaningless.

As far as the ground of cruelty was concerned, the court noted that the Appellant has relied on the following instances to support his case:

  1. Respondent was acting “Rude” and “Cruel” immediately after the marriage.
  2. Respondent wicked up quarrels with every family member on trivial matters
  3. Respondent refused to have any physical relations with him immediately after the marriage.
  4. Respondent locked herself into the room at the time of the muh dikhai ceremony.
  5. Respondent looked nervous and unhappy at the marriage reception.
  6. Respondent kept herself to her room, showing a disinclination to do any household work or cook food.

In response of the above, the court opined that none of theses acts, if at all committed by the Responden, could tantamount to cruel conduct and held that-

“A new Bride would be hesitant in her new surroundings in the matrimonial home. It is always for the Husbands family to make the new bride feel at home and accepted as a family member. Therefore such conduct of Respondent no./wife of being interested in remaining in her room or not showing initiative in doing household work can by no stretch of imagination be described as cruel behaviour and that too upon the appellant/Husband.”

The court observed that it was itself admitted by the Appellant that the marriage was consummated between both the parties, and except one instance there was always seula interaction between the parties.

It was further observed that no one of the family or relatives could substantiate the claims of the respondent for not behaving well with the Appellant’s family.

Lastly the appellant reliance on the Respondent making “False and Frivolous” complaint under sections 498-A/307/504/506 IPC against him and his family members was also rejected.

“Prima facie the FIR cannot be held to be a false, frivolous or a vague one, as the trial is still going on. It is not as if any court of law has come to a conclusion that the FIR so lodged by the Respondent no.1/wife was a false one.”

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