Wife Secretly Making Phone Calls to Another Man at Odd Hour can this be ground for Divorce ?
The Kerala High Court recently ruled, while granting a divorce decree to a couple, that a wife making secret phone calls to a man while ignoring her husband’s warning against the same amounts to matrimonial cruelty.In his decision, Justice Kauser Edappagth also stated that mere compromise would not amount to condoning cruelty unless and until the matrimonial life was restored.The Court was deliberating on a husband’s appeal of a Family Court verdict. The husband had petitioned the Family Court for dissolution of marriage on the grounds of adultery and cruelty, but his plea was denied.The husband contended that the wife has committed various heinous acts against him since the marriage’s inception, making his life a living hell. It was also claimed that she had an illicit relationship with the second respondent prior to her marriage and even afterward.Advocate appearing for the husband, also contended that a review of the printout of the CD produced by the BSNL would reveal frequent calls between the wife and the second respondent, implying an unholy relationship between them.Advocate representing the wife, refuted these claims, claiming that she only called the second respondent on occasion, and then only for official purposes.The Court stated that simply because the wife used to call the second respondent on a regular basis could not lead to the conclusion that their relationship was illicit and that there was an adulterous act between them.It was also stated that the allegation of adultery must be supported by a high degree of probability. The husband’s evidence was found to be insufficient to prove adultery even by a preponderance of the evidence.However, it was discovered that the wife made calls at odd hours as well. For example, on 28/2/2013, she made 10 calls, 5 of which were missed between 10.40 p.m. and 10.55 p.m.Although the evidence presented was insufficient to infer adultery on the part of the wife, Justice Edappagath noted that the relevant question was whether making such calls would constitute mental cruelty.The Court also recalled that the marital relationship was not cordial from the beginning. In fact, they split up three times, remarried, and went through mediation and conciliation several times. The parties had finally decided to resume their relationship. The wife should have been more cautious in her behaviour in those circumstances, according to the Judge.There was no evidence on record to suggest that the husband and wife resumed conjugal life in its true spirit following the compromise.Under these circumstances, the Court determined that it was appropriate to grant the couple a divorce.Dr Ajay Kummar Pandey Advocate
Supreme Court of India
www.4csupremelawint.comYou Tube: c/4CSupremeLawsubscribe: www.ajaykr.com/subscribe859