Friday, July 8, 2022

Husband forcing wife to accept his extramarital affair, asking money to sustain such affair is cruelty: Madras High Court

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Justice G Jayachandran, however, held that the mere act of having extramarital affairs will not be sufficient to hold a person guilty of abetment of suicide.

"The cruelty explained in the statute, includes both mental and physical. The wilful conduct of the applicant having extra-marital affairs with another married lady and forcing the deceased wife to accept his conduct and also to feed him money for his affair can be termed as mental cruelty and harassment. Hence, the Court finds that the conviction of the accused under Section 498-A of IPC is perfectly legal and hence confirmed." 

As far as the charge of abetment of suicide was concerned, the bench noted that though the prosecution could prove its case of cruelty, the evidence on record fell short to prosecute the appellant-husband.

"The depression caused by her husband's extramarital affair was the cause for her to take the extreme decision to commit suicide. But, the very act of having an extramarital affair is not sufficient to hold the accused is guilty of abetment. The prosecution has not laid any evidence that the husband aided or instigated the deceased to commit suicide. The evidence for prosecution has only proved that the mental cruelty caused on deceased pressurising her to get money from her parents to meet his expenses and his extra-marital affairs satisfies the ingredient of Section 498-A of IPC." 

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