The Madras High Court ruled that the Extramarital affairs amounts to Mental Cruelty.
Thamarai Selvi, lodged a complaint, thereby alleging that she got married with the petitioner/accused and after the marriage, the first accused was not maintaining a proper relationship with the complainant and the first accused always used to hit her and other accused also abused her physically and ill-treated her. Apart from mentioning specific incidents she also alleged that the first accused/petitioner herein committed bigamy and contracted a marriage with one Datchayani and thereafter, he totally neglected her, hence, the complaint.
Advocate B.M.Subash, appearing for the petitioner contended that there are three sets of allegations, which are there on record to drive home the charge of cruelty. First, Thamarai Selvi alleged that she has been subjected to physical torture and torture of demanding more dowry between the years 2000 to 2005. Those allegations are to be negated because, she herself in legal notice has said that Datchayani and her husband are living happily during the year 2000 to 2005.
Advocate L.Bhaskaran, appearing for the respondent contended that just because, the Trial Court acquitted the accused for the offence under Section 494 of IPC., the same would not be a reason for interfering with the finding of mental cruelty inflicted on Thamarai Selvi by the petitioner/accused having an extramarital relationship.
The single judge bench of Justice D.Bharatha Chakravarthy held that hold that the action of the petitioner/accused in having extramarital relationship, which has further caused grave mental trauma and affected the mental health of Thamarai Selvi, leading to serious circumstances, in conjunction with the act of Thamarai Selvi being forced to leave the matrimonial home, would amount to cruelty to her within Section 498(A) of IPC.
The court stated that there is no illegality or any error in the conclusion of the Trial Court and the Lower Appellate Court that the petitioner is guilty of the offense under Section 498(A) of IPC.
The court modified the sentence of imprisonment alone imposed on the petitioner/accused by reducing it as six months imprisonment from that of one year.
Case title: Nakkeeran @ JeroanPandy v/s M.Thamarai Selvi and Anr.
Citation: Crl.R.C.No.333 of 2014