Matrimonial Cruelty – Filing of a False Criminal Case

Filing of a criminal complaint by the wife against the husband and several members of his family under Section 498-A and 307of the Indian Penal Code amounts to cruelty. This nature of cruelty, in the wake of filing of a false criminal case by either of the spouses, has been discussed in detail in K. Srinivas Rao v. D.A. Deepa, (2013) 5 SCC 226, wherein it was held as under:
“Staying together under the same roof is not a precondition for mental cruelty. Spouse can cause mental cruelty by his or her conduct even while he or she is not staying under the same roof. In a given case, while staying away, a spouse can cause mental cruelty to the other spouse by sending vulgar and defamatory letters or notices or filing complaints containing indecent allegations or by initiating number of judicial proceedings making the other spouse’s life miserable.”
If a false criminal complaint is preferred by either spouse it would invariably and indubitably constitute matrimonial cruelty, such as would entitle the other spouse to claim a divorce. K. Srinivas v. K. Sunita, (2015) 1 AWC 80.

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