While upholding the Family Court order, Delhi High Court noted that minor consistency in the wife’s statement during cross-examination in divorce proceedings doesn’t make her an unreliable witness.
The observations were made by Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh who allowed the wife’s petition for the dissolution of marriage Section 13(1)(ia) and (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and dissolved the marriage between the two parties.
“We do note there was indeed a minor inconsistency in the statement of the Respondent-wife during her cross-examination relating to the payment of Household expenses. However, the same is a minor aberration and does not make the Respondent-wife an unreliable witness,” the court said.
The court also noted that what may constitute cruelty in one case may not constitute cruelty in another and therefore, each case and relationship must be viewed separately and its own totality.
In the divorce petition, the wife submitted that their marriage was not consummated and her husband and in-laws have dowry demands too. She accused her husband of torturing her mentally and also alleged that he had Bi-polar disorder which he concealed before the marriage.
The Family court took note of all the submissions and noted that the wife was subjected to mental cruelty. The husband challenged the order in the High Court.
The High court rejected his allegations of the wife being an unreliable witness. The court noted that the husband has not brought any specific contradictions to the testimony of his wife to support his allegations that she was not a truthful and reliable witness.
“It is a well settled proposition that pleadings and evidence have to be read as a whole and no single instance can be picked and read in isolation. The impugned judgment in above paragraph, has noted that there are factual instances found in the evidence, which are not pleaded in pleadings. However, those incidents are not the fulcrum of the findings of the Family Court that the Respondent has been subject to mental and physical cruelty by the Appellant,” the court said.
The court also opined that numerous complaints and specific incidents of cruelty, both mental and physical, showed the true conduct of the husband, which could not be expected in any healthy matrimonial relationship.
“Inconsistencies of such a minor nature neither change the thread, nor the essence of the judgment. The contradictions pointed out by the Appellant are not so serious as to change the finding, persuading us to set aside the impugned judgment, nor are they so grave that they violate the principles of natural justice,” noted the bench.
The court noted that this marriage was beyond repair and continuity of the same was fruitless and dismissed the petition.