Cruelty Includes Refusal of Repaying The Loan Taken In The Name Of Wife Rules Uttarakhand High Court

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Uttrakhand High Court has added another aspect to cruelty as a ground of divorce in its recent judgment. Judgment declares that if a husband fails to repay the loan taken by him in name of his wife and fails to repay the same, it amounts to cruelty.

Facts of the Case and Arguments advanced

Appellant and respondent got married on 26th October 2001 as per Hindu rites and rituals. Husband, the respondent in the present case is a practising advocate. No kids were borne out of the wedlock. Wife, the appellant had earlier filed a case under section 13,25,26,27 of the Hindu Marriage Act before the Principal Judge, Family Court, Dehradun which was dismissed. Aggrieved by the outcome, she knocked on the doors of Uttrakhand High Court at Nainital, appealing against the decision. Appellant has contended that the respondent has a habit of taking loans. He took a loan in the name of his wife and also made her guarantor in some other loan he took. Respondent failed to repay the loans taken by him and as a consequence appellant had to face embarrassment at the hands of society. It was also brought on the record that, respondent and his friends cheated one Ms Dolly Gujral, who had lodged FIR against them under various sections of IPC in Police Station Raipur, Dehradun. Further, it was also mentioned in the appeal that respondent used filthy language with appellant and often abused her. He did not spend much time with her but preferred to spend it with another lady who lived in the same apartment as that of parties. Advocates for the appellants also submitted that she was time and again beaten by the respondents whenever she objected to his bad behaviour. Respondent did not appear before the court even after sufficient service.

The decision of the Case

Division Bench of High Court ruled that sufficient evidence was provided by the appellant to establish that cruelty was meted out to appellant.

The court said that “Taking loan is neither an offence nor shameful act but failing to repay it may cause embarrassment, as lender comes to recover his loan by any means. It also maligns the reputation of a person in society. Appellant is a housewife. Respondent also took a loan in the name of his wife/ appellant and also made her guarantor. Appellant has no source of income and she was deserted by her husband. In such circumstances, it was very painful for her to live because she has no source of income but has to repay the loan.”

In pursuance of above the division bench set aside the order of the family court and issued a decree of divorce to appellant. Moreover, respondent was also asked to return the Stridhan mentioned in the list to appellants within eight weeks.

Learning of the Case

From this case, we learn that taking a loan in the name of wife and not repaying the same amounts to cruelty.

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