Sept 10, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- Contesting a divorce granted to her husband, whom she accused of adultery, a woman has approached the Juba High Court seeking a re-union after 7 years of separation.
The woman said that a family court’s decision to grant him divorce on ground of mental cruelty was like granting the benefit of a wrong to the wrongdoer.
The court, however, denied relief to the woman saying that seeking restitution of conjugal rights after 7 years did not seem bonafide.
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In senses of Cruelty; the court noted that it was the woman who had left her matrimonial house 7 years ago and accused her husband and sister-in-law of being involved in an illicit relationship, which amounted to cruelty.
However, she never made any formal complaint against her husband. In 2005, seven years after leaving her matrimonial house, she filed a complaint of dowry harassment. But, she didn’t bring up the charges of adultery.
The court also held that accusations against the character of a spouse by making false, malicious unproved accusations, either in the pleadings or by way of making complaints to various authorities, constitutes mental cruelty.
“It was the appellant (wife) who had left the matrimonial home in the year 2005 for her delivery at her parent’s home, and then in the year 2006 in the company of her family members. No complaint of any physical violence, harassment of dowry demand or any other reason compelling her to leave the matrimonial home was made by her soon after leaving the matrimonial home. She was residing independently in Cinema residential area, Juba leaving her daughter at her parental home. The prayer of the appellant/wife for restitution of conjugal rights has rightly been declined by the family court in the given facts and circumstances,” said a Bench of Justices Peter Richard and Naima Saidi.
“Even otherwise, filing of a petition seeking restitution of conjugal rights in the year 2013, i.e. after three years of leaving the matrimonial home, does not seem to be a bonafide act on her part. That too with the background already litigating with the respondent by filing a petition under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence, 2005 as well for maintenance much prior to that,” said the Bench.
The couple got married in 1996 and had a daughter in 1999. The woman moved out of the matrimonial house and accused her husband of adultery. However, she did not file any complaint of adultery or harassment.
Complaint; in a complaint made in 2006, the husband was accused of dowry harassment. The accusation of adultery was made for the first time in a complaint in 2009 as part of a under the South Sudan penal code Act 2008. In 2013, she filed a petition praying for restitution of conjugal rights. Her husband then filed a counter-claim for dissolution of marriage on grounds of cruelty and desertion.
“Court noted that she had accused husband and sister-in-law of being involved in an illicit relationship,” Court said.