Tag Archives: reputation

Mental Cruelty – Damaging the reputation of the Spouse

The respondent (wife) had made several defamatory complaints to the appellant’s (Husband) superiors in the army for which, a court of inquiry was held by the Army Authorities against the appellant. Primarily for those, the appellant’s career progress got affected. The Respondent was also making complaints to other authorities, such as, the State Commission for Women and has posted defamatory materials on other platforms. The net outcome of above is that the appellant’s career and reputation had suffered.

        When the appellant has suffered adverse consequences in his life and career on account of the allegations made by the respondent, the legal consequences must follow and those cannot be prevented only because, no court has determined that the allegations were false.

The allegations leveled by a highly educated spouse which have the propensity to irreparably damage the character and reputation of the other spouse and when the reputation of the spouse is sullied amongst his colleagues, his superiors and the society at large, it would be difficult to expect condonation of such conduct by the affected party.  

       The explanation of the wife that she made those complaints in order to protect the matrimonial ties would not justify the persistent effort made by her to undermine the dignity and reputation of her husband. In circumstances like this, the wronged party cannot be expected to continue with the matrimonial relationship and there is enough justification for him to seek separation. Joydeep Majumdar v. Bharti Jaiswal Majumdar, Civil Appeal Nos. 3786-3787 of 2020 decided on 26.02.2021

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Reputation – A Personal Right

Allegations against any person if found to be false or made forging someone else’s signature may affect his reputation. Reputation is a sort of right to enjoy the good opinion of others and it is a personal right and an injury to reputation is a personal injury. Thus, scandal and defamation are injurious to reputation. Reputation has been defined in dictionary as “to have a good name; the credit, honour, or character which is derived from a favorable public opinion or esteem and character by report.” Personal rights of a human being include the right of reputation. A good reputation is an element of personal security and is protected by the Constitution equally with the right to the enjoyment of life, liberty and property. Therefore, it has been held to be a necessary element in regard to right to life of a citizen under Article 21 of the Constitution. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 recognises the right to have opinions and right to freedom of expression under Article 19 is subject to the right of reputation of others. Reputation is “not only a salt of life but the purest treasure and the most precious perfume of life.” Umesh Kumar v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (2014) 1 SCC (Cri) 338.

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Criminal Breach of trust vis-à-vis offence of cheating

The ingredients in order to constitute a criminal breach of trust are:
(1) Entrusting a person with property or with any dominion over property,
(2) That person entrusted (a) dishonestly misappropriating or converting that property to his own use; or (b) dishonestly using or disposing of that property or willfully suffering any other person so to do in violation (i) of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged, (ii) of any legal contract made, touching the discharge of such trust.
The ingredients of an offence of cheating are:
(1) There should be fraudulent or dishonest inducement of a person by deceiving him,
(2) (a) The person so deceived should be induced to deliver any property to any person or to consent that any person shall retain any property; or
(b) The person so deceived should be intentionally induced to do or omit to do anything which he would not do or omit if he were not so deceived; and
(3) In cases covered by, 2(b) the act of omission should be one which causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to the person induced in body, mind, reputation or property. Arun Bhandari v. State of U.P., (2013) 2 SCC 801.

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