Lucknow, October 21: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court has ruled that a man can seek divorce if his wife puts pressure on him for abandoning his parents and demands a fixed sum every month for personal expenses. Terming such behaviour as ‘cruelty upon the husband’, the court also ruled that a woman who makes these demands while earning more than her husband will not be entitled for permanent alimony.
The court made these observations while upholding the judgment of a family court which granted divorce to a man on the above grounds and also declined permanent alimony to his wife under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
Expressing concern over the case which dragged for over 23 years, a division bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Mahendra Dayal said, “The worst sufferer of this long litigation is the child and the parties are still not ready to reconcile or settle their dispute amicably.”
Radhika and Ashok (names changed) got married in Lucknow on February 5, 1991. Immediately after marriage, Radhika demanded eviction of her in-laws from the house and Rs 3,000 for her monthly expense on cosmetics and outings. When Ashok failed to meet her demands Radhika started harassing her in-laws and husband physically and mentally. Ashok then lodged a police complaint on June 14, 1991, and got his injuries examined in the government hospital. He also complained to Radhika’s mother and two brothers but to no avail. A miffed Radhika then threatened to frame her husband and in-laws in a dowry harassment case.
He filed a divorce petition in the family court in October 1991. In retaliation, Radhika filed a dowry harassment case against her in-laws and husband (they were acquitted later).
The case dragged on for 13 years till Ashok obtained a high court order telling the family court to decide the matter within three months. On September 30, 2004, the family court granted divorce to Ashok and declined any permanent alimony to his wife.
Radhika had challenged the twin orders in the high court. The high court rejected her plea after a 10-year trial.