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While granting divorce to a couple, Karnataka High Court noted that calling a husband impotent in front of relatives without substantiating the same would amount to mental cruelty.

The two judge bench comprising Justice Sunil Dutt Yadav and Justice KS Hemalekha noted that no prudent woman will ever make such allegations against her husband and that too in front of others.

The allegation of impotency in the presence of others and her husband would necessarily affect the reputation of the husband. No prudent woman would think of making allegation of impotency in the presence of others, rather she would take necessary steps to see that the reputation of the husband is not affected and not thrown out in public. The complaining of incapacity of the husband to bear children, without any proof creates an intense mental agony and anguish of the husband,” reads the judgment.

The bench also stated that the wife made public assertions of her husband’s supposed impotence in spite of being unable to prove the same.

Having not proved the allegation, the unproved/unsubstantiated false allegations about impotency has led to mental disturbance of the husband causing disharmony between the husband and wife, which makes the husband unable to stay with the wife,” the bench said.

The bench set aside an order given by the Family Court in Dharwad which dismissed his divorce petition.

They got married in May 2015. The husband submitted that the wife behaved normally for a few months but her conduct changed altogether.

The wife called him incompetent to discharge his matrimonial obligations and an unfit person to be a husband. It was alleged that the allegation of impotency was disclosed not only before him, but also before relatives of both parties, which caused lot of embarrassment to the husband resulting in mental torture.

The bench observed, “No material is forthcoming and no efforts have been made to prove that the contention raised by her about the impotency of the husband is true and is not merely an allegation, but a fact. This having not been done, the allegation of impotency in the presence of others and her husband would necessarily affect the reputation of the husband.”

No prudent woman would think of making allegations of impotency in the presence of others, rather she would take necessary steps to see that the reputation of the husband is not affected and not thrown out in public. The complaining of incapacity of the husband to bear children, without any proof creates an intense mental agony and anguish of the husband,” the bench added.

The wife has failed to discharge the burden to prove that the husband is impotent as the husband is willing to undergo medical examination as stated in his affidavit. Having not proved the allegation, the unproved/unsubstantiated false allegations about impotency has led to mental disturbance of the husband causing disharmony between the husband and wife, which makes the husband unable to stay with the wife,” the bench noted.

It added, “Though Section 13 of the Act does not consider the impotency as the ground for divorce, the false allegation of impotency being made by the wife would definitely cause mental disharmony and this would amount to mental cruelty within the meaning of Section 13(1)(ia) of the Act, and enables the husband to seek divorce on the ground of cruelty.”

The bench rejected the wife’s contentions in view of the fact that the wife has not placed any materials to unshore her contentions.

The High Court bench allowed the plea filed by the husband and granted divorce. The bench has directed him to pay Rs 8,000 every month to the wife towards the maintenance of the wife.


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