Friday, January 27, 2006

 

False dowry case ample ground for divorce: HC (Delhi)

False dowry case ample ground for divorce: HC (Delhi)

Times of India dated 2nd Feb 2005.(page 4)
By Bhadra Sinha/TNN

New Delhi: In a landmark judgment, the Delhi High Court has ruled that lodging false dowry complaints against men amounts to cruelty and can be a ground for dissolution of marriage. The court granted divorce to a man who alleged mental cruelty by his wife.

With this order, Justice O P Dwivedi disposed of a four-year-old petition in which a woman had challenged a lower court’s order permitting divorce to the husband. Mita Jain (name changed) admitted during the proceedings that she had filed a false case of dowry against her husband, in-laws and their relatives in Meerut. As a result of the false complaint, the husband and relatives were in jail for 10 days. The court construed this to be an instance of cruelty. It also concluded against that Mita’s acceptance of Rs 5.25 lakh as a final settlement for divorce was an unfair act. After receiving the payment, Mita gave a statement before Meerut’s chief judicial magistrate in which she admitted that the dowry case against her husband was false. Yet she refused to give divorce.

‘‘The act of the woman in filing a false case was not based on true facts. It clearly amounts to cruelty. Not only did she receive Rs 35,000 and Kisan Vikas Patras, she resiled from her agreement and did not sign papers of divorce,’’ said Justice Dwivedi.

In 1999, the lower court had passed an order in favour of Mita’s husband who claimed his wife had been mentally harassing her since 1993, the year when they left the family home to live separately. According to him, she once attempted to get a false case registered against him. The lower court observed in its order that things went wrong between the two after they started staying in a rented accommodation. ‘‘As per the averments of the husband, the wife refused to cook meals for some of his friends whom he had invited for a party on his birthday,’’ the judge had said.

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