The Gujarat High Court upheld the decision of a family court of granting divorce to a woman who alleged cruelty by her husband.
The woman, who had been a student of her husband at the age of 28, alleged that she had been forced into marriage. She stated that her husband, who was 12 years older than her, was her teacher at Amreli Polytechnic College.
The woman alleged that she was a third-year student of civil engineering and it was her 40-year-old teacher who coerced, forced, and mentally harassed her to marry him. She claimed that the teacher used to say to her that she should secure double ‘A’ grades in the subject that he was teaching, otherwise she would have to succumb to his wishes. The woman claimed that though she was unwilling to marry, the teacher started blackmailing her and gave her threats to commit suicide.
Thereafter, the woman and the teacher got married in August 2011. However, soon after this, she complained of ill-treatment by her husband and in-laws.
She claimed that after marriage, her in-laws started asking for dowry and when she was unable to fulfil their wish, her husband and his parents deserted her. The woman also submitted that though after some time, she was taken back in by her husband and in-laws, she was again driven out in 2013 and, since then, she had been leading a miserable life. She further alleged that she was forced to undergo abortion thrice.
However, the husband denied all the allegations and said that their marriage was in fact a love marriage that was not supported by the woman’s family. He refuted the allegations of cruelty.
The high court observed that the divorce decree had been passed on grounds of cruelty and desertion and the evidence that was available on record revealed material facts about the relationship between the parties.
“The evidence suggested in no uncertain terms that the respondent was driven out of matrimonial house and was deserted in the year 2013. These were acts and conduct amounting to cruelty to the wife,” the court noted.
“Cruelty is not a defined concept,” the court stressed, while holding that “a student forced to marry a teacher, both having large gap in terms of age and prospects, and post marriage treatment meted out to her in the present case made out to prove that she was subjected to cruelty”.
Accordingly, the court dismissed the appeal moved by the husband against the divorce decree.
Story Update By: Ms. Sai Sushmitha, Correspondent at Lawgic.
Edited By: Ms. Nandini Nair, Content-Head at Lawgic.