Obtaining exparte decree of divorce amounts to cruelty: Court

A Delhi court has refused to grant any relief to a man, who had obtained an exparte decree of divorce from his wife, saying his act amounted to "mental cruelty and harassment of the woman".

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 19, 2014, 14:33 PM IST

New Delhi: A Delhi court has refused to grant any relief to a man, who had obtained an exparte decree of divorce from his wife, saying his act amounted to "mental cruelty and harassment of the woman".

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Vikas Dhull dismissed the man's revision petition challenging a trial court order that had framed charges against him for subjecting his wife to cruelty in a domestic violence case, saying it is a well settled law that "cruelty is a continuing offence".

"The obtaining of exparte decree of divorce amounts to mental cruelty and harassment. Further, pursuing the appeal before the High Court to get the divorce order set aside also amounts to mental harassment to the complainant (woman)," the judge said.

"The trial court did not commit any wrong in framing charge under section 498A (subjecting a woman to cruelty) of IPC against revisionist (man)," the judge said.

The ASJ, however, set aside the charge of 406 (criminal breach of trust) under IPC framed by the trial court against the man, saying that it should not have taken cognisance of the offence after the lapse of limitation period of three years which is the maximum punishment for the offence.

According to complaint filed by the woman before the trial court, it was alleged that her husband used to subject her to cruelty for dowry demands and they were not staying together since 2006.

She had alleged that her husband had fraudulently obtained an exparte decree of divorce in May 2006 and now she was contesting it in the High Court to set aside the exparte decree awarded to him.