The habit of stealing money from the house and getting arrested in a debit card fraud case are sufficient to show that the wife had inflicted mental cruelty upon the husband in a divorce case, the Bombay High Court has ruled.
“Looking at the social status of the parties and the strata of society to which they belong, the enormity and magnitude of this act is such that it clearly constitutes cruelty,” observed Justices V L Achilya and Vijaya Tahilramani while upholding a family court order granting divorce to a man.The court also dismissed the appeal filed by wife against the family court judgment of 2008, stating that her conduct clearly established cruelty meted out to the spouse.
The man had alleged that his wife was in the habit of lying to him and stealing money from the house and the bank by forging signatures on cheques. He further alleged that she had also been arrested in a criminal case for encashing Rs 37,000 using her colleague's debit card.
“This single incident (stealing money by misusing debit card) by itself is of such a serious nature that it would make it impossible for the respondent (husband) to live with the appellant (wife) without mental agony, torture or distress. It is sufficient to entitle the respondent to secure divorce on the ground of cruelty,” said the bench.
“It has come on record that the appellant (wife) is continuously indulging in acts which were detrimental to the harmony of marital life and her behaviour is such as to render it impossible for the couple to live together. There is no effort on the part of the appellant to change for the better, in fact on the other hand day by day her illegal activities are getting more and more serious,” noted the judges.
This is probably the first case in which a son deposed against his mother and a father against his daughter.