Name-Calling Racist Remarks like ‘Kali Kaluti’ to wife, Demand for Dowry Among Others are Valid Grounds for Divorce on Account of Cruelty, Rules Punjab and Haryana High Court

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The appellant wife contended she was insulted by calling her “Kali Kaluti” and was being taunted for not preparing the food by her husband( respondent in the present case). In November 2012, the respondent and his family members had started demanding dowry as a result of which appellant had to return to her parents’ house. When attempts to reconcile were made the appellant’s father, the husband’s family threatened to get the appellant’s husband married second time.

INTRODUCTION TO THE CASE:

The present case “Radha Vs. Kamal Singh” was decided by a Division Bench of the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising of Justice M.M.S. Bedi and Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill.

Respondent claimed that the appellant was living in her parents house at her own will. Allegations of demand of dowry were denied. Lower court had decided against the appellant on the grounds that she did not remember the exact dates of the quarrel with her spouse,  she did not file any complaint to any higher authorities regarding the behaviour of the respondent and she was unable to prove her “Kali Kaluti” allegation. Additionally, the evidence before the court was contrary to the appellant’s admission that her husband was living with wife of his brother.

HIGH COURT’S RULING:

The High Court overruled the lower Court’s judgement and remarked:

“We are of the firm opinion that the approach of the lower Court is absolutely improper…The evidence has not been appreciated in true perspective to see the physical and mental cruelty which has been asserted by the appellant in her petition.”

The High Court ruled that cruelty has been corroborated by the evidence produced by the appellant’s parents and observed:

“The appellant wife admittedly is not residing in her matrimonial home and is living with her parents. The Court did not appreciate that she has been compelled to stay away from the house of her husband…When a female has been compelled to leave her matrimonial home to say with her parents, a legal obligation/ appreciation of evidence arises to find out the circumstances under which she is compelled to leave the matrimonial home.”

Therefore, physical and mental cruelty at the hands of the husband was established and the High Court dissolved the marriage between husband and wife.

Read the judgement here.

This note is written by Gunjeet Singh Bagga.

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