Case Title: Ms. Anu Narula vs Mr. Arvind Chaudhary
A division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna of Delhi High Court during divorce proceedings observed that, wife cannot claim cruelty in divorce proceedings after accepting her husband’s extramarital affair.
“It has been rightly concluded … that it was an act which was condoned by the appellant who despite this episode, had expressed her willingness to continue to reside with the respondent. Once an act which lasted for a short while had been condoned, it cannot be taken as an act of cruelty while deciding the petition for divorce,”
Through the appeal application, wife expressed her willingness to continue living with husband, despite of such an episode of extramarital relationship.
The couple got married in the year 1996, husband was in Indian Army and got posted at different locations.
The wife contented before the court that the husband would only visit her briefly during his annual leaves, even on that period he used to inflict physical and mental cruelty upon her.
She further added that the man continued an extramarital relationship, hence through divorce proceedings, he is taking advantage of getting rid from her.
On the other hand, husband claimed that his wife hardly talked to him due to which he caused frustration and depression. He further added, his wife wrote various frivolous and baseless complaints to the commanding officers, army headquarters and in family welfare organizations for blaming him for deserting her and their daughter.
The bench held that the affair of the husband cannot be views as cruelty to the wife, as through her appeal against the family court’s order, she expressed her willingness to continue living with the husband.
The bench further noted that having friends and merely taking to friends cannot be termed as an act of ignoring the wife.
“A person who is essentially living alone, may find solace by having friends and merely because he used to talk to his friends, it can neither be held to be an act of ignoring the appellant (wife) nor a cruel act. It has to be appreciated that both the parties having been essentially living separately because of their work exigencies, were bound to make friends at their place of work and otherwise; and such friendships without anything more, cannot be termed as cruelty”.
The bench while upholding the family’s court order for granting divorce to the husband on the ground of cruelty alone, held that the wife had committed cruelty against the husband by writing various complaints to the husband’s superiors. “The divorce was also granted on the ground of desertion, but from the above discussion, it is evident that the things had gone to an extent where neither the appellant nor the respondent were in a position to restore their marital ties. In these circumstances, it cannot be held that it was a case of desertion by the wife for a period of more than two years from the date of separation ie Jul