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Setting aside a trial court order, the Delhi High Court has allowed the divorce plea of a woman accused by her husband of having a relationship with a godman.

Justice Kailash Gambhir while giving relief to Rakhi (name changed) said: “Cruelty is the very anti-thesis of love and affection, and what may be a cruelty in one case may not be treated as an act of cruelty in another case. However, irrespective of the social, educational and economic background of parties, none would tolerate an attack on their chastity or moral character, which is the worst form of cruelty.”

Rakhi challenged the trial court order of 1998 that had dismissed her plea for divorce saying that the grounds she cited for seeking the divorce were not enough.Setting aside the trial court order, Justice Gambhir said Friday: “This court fails to comprehend as to how such a view could be taken by the trial court as clearly serious and malicious allegations of the appellant having relationship with a sadhu (godman) and her staying out of the house during nights were levelled by her husband…”

“As per the settled legal position, casting such aspersions on the character of the spouse has the effect of causing deleterious affect on the mind of such spouse and the same is a worse form of cruelty,” he said.Rakhi married Rajesh (name changed) in 1980 and two years later a daughter was born out of the wedlock.

According to Rakhi, soon after the daughter’s birth, Rajesh started beating her and blamed her for not giving birth to a son.

“Rajesh used to throw me on streets by pulling my hair in the presence of neighbours. He turned me out along with my daughter from the home and forced us to spend nights outside the house,” Rakhi alleged in her petition.”The married life should be assessed as a whole and a few isolated instances over certain period will not amount to cruelty. The ill-conduct must be a precedent for a fairly lengthy period where the relationship has deteriorated to an extent that because of the acts and behaviour of a spouse, one party finds it extremely difficult to live with the other,” said the high court, granting the woman divorce.

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