Saturday, May 7, 2011

Baseless adultery allegation is mental cruelty: HC

Mumbai: Making baseless allegations of adultery against one’s wife is mental cruelty, the Bombay High Court said while holding a Mumbai resident guilty. Justice A R Joshi gave the husband an option; pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation or go to jail. “In view of evidence by the prosecution witnesses and the allegations made against the character of (the wife), definitely it is a case in which there was a mental cruelty practised on (her),’’said the judge.
Nilesh Chauhan’s plea to suspend his conviction and release him on a bond of good conduct was rejected by the court, saying doing so would be “misplaced sympathy’’.
The judge said considering Chauhan’s conduct “in imputing wild allegations against his wife of having illicit relations with her brother-in-law (who was of her father’s age), it would not be in the fitness of things to release him on a bond of good conduct’’. But the court added that one year prison term as ordered by the trial court would serve no purpose either. “It is not lost sight of the fact that the mental torture which is caused by the (husband) by imputing wild allegations against his own wife without any basis as to her chastity, may not be adequately compensated in terms of money, but, still otherwise whether it may be so compensated by sending the present applicant behind the bars for one year would also be a question to ponder,’’ said the judge.
Increasing the fine amount to be paid by the accused and ensuring adequate compensation to his wife would at least give her some solace, the court observed. Chauhan married Sheela in 2002 and they had a daughter in 2003. In her complaint, Sheela said Chauhan demanded dowry. They quarreled as Chauhan suspected her and accused her of having illicit relations with her sister’s husband. She left her husband in 2005 to stay with her sister and lodged a complaint of harassment for dowry.

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