Filing domestic violence case is not an act of cruelty

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The Karnataka High Court has ruled that filing a complaint against her spouse under the domestic violence act can not be seen as an act of cruelty.

The High Court gave its verdict while hearing a plea filed by a man who had challenged the order of a Bangalore Family Court rejecting his divorce application. The man cited cruelty and desertion by his wife as the reason for seeking divorce.

“A husband assaulting his wife is an offence under the Domestic Violence Act. The Parliament has conferred a right on the wife to protect her interest. If the wife exercises her right and lodges a complaint, it cannot be called an act of cruelty,” a High Court division bench comprising Justice N Kumar and Justice H Billappa observed.

“The evidence on record shows that the petitioner and the respondent (wife) lived happily. She was employed prior to her marriage and as agreed, gave up her employment and became a fulltime housewife. She gave birth to two daughters and took care of them,” the bench added. The bench also observed that the man who often switched jobs, had not a decent source of stable earning. Therefore, it was the parents of the wife who often gave financial aid to the family.

It seems the petitioner was not up to the expectation of his wife. This appears to be the cause for the misunderstanding. The wife has not left the house of the petitioner. It is the petitioner and his mother who have left the house. Therefore, it is not a case of desertion by the wife. The trial court was right in rejecting the petition,” said the court’s ruling.

Expressing home that the issue could be resolved permanently if the man found himself a good job, the court added: “Both husband and wife are well-educated and past experience should enable them to know each other and behave more responsibly.”