Spying on Spouse

Casting aspersions on the character of a spouse is the worst form of cruelty and amounts to mental torture, the Delhi High Court has said. The court was hearing a divorce petition filed by a woman wherein she complained of domestic violence and that her husband accused her of having illicit relations. The late justice Tarkunde wrote that, " The easiest way to torment a spouse is to besmirch his / her character. But one doesn't understand the gravity and magnitude of such accusations, which may drive a person at the receiving end to go mad or commit suicide."

There've been so many instances when women, having been accused of an illicit relationship or an extra-marital relationship, took a drastic step. A person's (esp. a woman's) character's the most fragile thing that can be targetted very easily. Though husbands are also accused of unfounded liaisons, it's mostly wives, who suffer much more. I've never understood, why these false and baseless allegations regarding a person's character are never taken seriously.

 In a social sphere, you can file a defamation suit againt the person who has publicly tarnished your character, but within the ambit of a marital set-up, there's not much scope for either of them to defend oneself legally. Many a time, it's been found that when such allegations are levelled at a person who has no fault, that  person gets so disturbed by these accusations that s/he gets into an illicit relationship in sheer frustration. This is called 'infidelity on the rebound' or ' vindictive infidelity'.

In Muradabad (western UP), a 57-year-old husband used to insult his 54-year-old wife in front of their grown up son and daughter that the lady had a clandestine affair with her son's friend. She absolutely had no such relationship with her son's friend but constant accusations frustrated her so much that she ended up having a relationship with that guy! The woman was not at fault here. It was her husband's fault that despite having spent 30 years of conjugal bliss, he suspected that his mature wife could fall for someone, young enough to be her son. We create ineluctable situations and drive a person to take an extreme step.

In European countries like Holland and Switzerland, false accusations regarding a spouse's character might land you in a prison but there's no such categorical law to punish an erring husband or wife in India. In most of the divorce cases in India, infidelity, often ' framed infidelity', is the main factor for separation. It's indeed a lifelong mental agony and a social stigma to live through life with false accusations of having loose character.          
                                                                                                                                                                  ------Sumit Paul