Using wife as ‘cash cow and ATM’ amounts to mental harassment: Karnataka HC

Bengaluru: In an important judgment, the Karnataka High Court has said that using a wife without any emotional attachment as “a cash cow and ATM” amounts to mental harassment. The court also granted divorce to the wife in the case setting aside the order of the lower court.

The division bench headed by Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice J.M. Khazi gave the order recently, while looking into the petition submitted by a woman questioning the lower court’s order of not granting divorce.

The bench stated that the husband had taken Rs 60 lakh from the wife on the pretext of carrying out business. “He had considered her as a cash cow. There is no emotional attachment to her and he has mechanical bonding. Due to the behaviour of the husband, the wife has suffered mental trauma.”

“The pain inflicted on the wife by husband in this case could be considered as mental harassment. The family court has failed to consider all these factors. Furthermore, the court has not done cross examination of the petitioner wife and recorded her statements,” the bench said.

“Considering the arguments by the wife, divorce is being granted to her,” said the court. The bench also underlined that in cases of family dispute, the cruelty allegations must be verified on the merits of the case.

The couple was married in 1991 and had a baby girl out of wedlock in 2001. The husband, who was running a business, was struggling to repay loans. This had led to quarrels at home. The petitioner’s wife had joined a bank to take care of herself and child.

From 2008, the wife gave money to her husband and he spent it without repaying loans. He is alleged to have been emotionally blackmailing the petitioner to extract money. She later realised that her money was being misused and her husband was not working even after receiving Rs 60 lakh.

The petitioner’s wife supported husband to open a salon in Dubai. However, he allegedly did not show any interest and returned to India after causing losses. The wife then filed a divorce petition with the family court. However, the family court had rejected her petition, saying that there was no cruelty involved in the case.


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