Good ground for divorce: SC. By T. Rajagopalan There are abominable daughters-in-law who indulge in abusing, insulting and vilifying their in-laws despite their being innocent of any wrong-doing. I have seen such daughters-in-law pouring their abuses on their in-laws only to wreak vengeance on their husbands, whom they despised for some reason or other to see them shake in horror at their monstrous behavior.
In one instance, Vanita was not given a gold necklace by her in-laws at the time of her marriage whereas they gifted their daughter with a necklace when she wed. Thenceforth she, harboring a grudge against her in-laws, started treating them cavalierly and disrespectfully, even abusing them for no conceivable reason. In another instance, Girija’s husband gave his sister a gold chain that cost him a little more than the one he bought for her. His explanation to her was that when he bought her the jewel the cost of the souvenir was `30,000 whereas it had come down to `20,000 which could not be digested by her. Instead of treating this incident casually which she couldn’t, she started pouring vitriol on her in-laws to derive some vicarious delight.
On the 26 April 2015, the Supreme Court of India held that unleashing cruelty by the daughter-in-law at her in-laws by not permitting them to stay in the matrimonial home was a good ground for divorce which their son wanted for treating his parents in this wicked manner. The son was an NRI and he asked for a divorce from his evil wife on this ground.
A bench of Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice A.M. Sapre said such incidents could not be termed “wear and tear” of family life as held by the Madras High Court which had said that a couple must be prepared to face such situations in a matrimonial relationship.
The NRI had filed a divorce petition alleging that his wife was abusive to his family members and didn’t permit them, who included his parents and sibling, to stay in his house when they visited the USA.
Referring to an episode, the husband apprised the court that his spouse had once locked him and his sister out of the house and abused them saying they belonged to a ‘prostitute’s family’. She declined flatly to allow her sister-in-law to enter the house and even went to the extent of lodging a police complaint against her husband.
Taking into account all the evidence adduced by the husband inclusive of abusive voicemails and emails he received from his wife while she was in India, the bench said it was clear proof of mental cruelty and the husband was entitled to divorce.
“If a spouse abuses the other as being born of a prostitute, this cannot be termed as ‘wear and tear’ of family life. Summoning the police on false or flimsy grounds cannot also be similarly viewed. Making it impossible for any close relatives to visit or reside in the matrimonial house would also indubitably result in cruelty to the spouse,” the bench said.
What beastly type of this young woman Sangeeta is who smothered her old mother-in-law in an utterly brutish manner? On 12 January 2016, a terrifying video posted on the social media showed a woman in Bijnore district of Uttar Pradesh thrashing her mother-in-law, elderly and infirm, savagely. This spine-chilling video was posted by a social activist, Kundan Srivastava, on the Facebook with an appeal to the chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to initiate action against this monster of a daughter-in-law, Sangeeta Jain.
Losing no time, the Bijnore police took this ferocious woman into custody under section 307 of the Indian Penal Code. Sangeeta said the video had been made by her husband to frame her.
In this video which is just about a minute long, Sangeeta is seen attempting to strangulate her mother-in-law Rajrani Jain, a septuagenarian with her hands first and thereafter with a cloth. The video further displayed the cold-blooded daughter-in-law pulling the sickly old woman down from her bed and hitting her on the head with a stone. Sangeeta was also seen trying to shock the old woman with a water-heating rod.
Her violent streak
In his written post, Srivastava said that the video was recorded on 5 January 2016 through a CCTV camera in the old woman’s quaters who had been bearing the brunt of Sangeeta’s violent streak for the past many months but the police had declined to take action against her.
“I suggested that they should install a CCTV camera so that they could obtain clinching proof of her abominable behaviour.”
This dreadful Sangeeta was married to Sandeep Jain and a case of divorce was pending in the court. The social activist had described Sangeeta as a “cruel person” who had filed false cases of dowry harassment against her husband. He further said that the law, in an increasing number of cases, was being misused by women to target men.
There are of course a large number of women who treat their in-laws, despite their advancing age and ill-health, with kindness and deep concern. A kin of mine who retired as a manager of a bank and his wife, were always kindly disposed to the man’s parents who lived in their ancestral village in their own modest dwelling looking after their small agricultural fields. The son and his wife with their two children visited them now and then with numerous household articles and groceries and remained with them for a few days. On festive occasions they also took the old couple in their car to their home to take part in the festivities.
In one of his earliest movies produced in Tamil, the late K. Balachander, the renowned director and story writer, showed an episode where when the daughter-in-law, deeply devoted to her mother-in-law, leaves her husband in high dudgeon, the mother-in-law stubbornly refuses to stay with her son and departs with her daughter-in-law stating that she was not on the wrong side of the law.