Delhi High Court rejects husband’s adultery allegation based on photographs

The court said that in the era of “deepfake,” evidence cannot be based on photographs.

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court has rejected a man’s attempt to avoid paying alimony to his estranged wife by alleging she was living in adultery, based on photographs he presented as evidence.

The court, highlighting the era of “deepfakes,” ruled that such photographs must be supported by appropriate evidence in the family court.

A division bench comprising Justices Rajeev Shakdher and Amit Bansal examined the photographs and concluded that it was unclear whether the woman in the images was indeed the wife.

The court said: “We have examined the photographs. It is not clear whether the respondent/wife is the person in the photographs as discussed by the learned counsel for the appellant/husband. We may take judicial notice of the fact that we live in the age of deepfakes and therefore this is something that the appellant/husband should perhaps prove by way of evidence in the family court .

He granted both parties the opportunity to present their evidence in the ongoing divorce proceedings in the Family Court.

The husband had appealed against a family court order requiring him to pay Rs 75,000 per month as cumulative maintenance to his wife and daughter. The wife, a mass communications graduate, lived with her parents and had been unemployed since the separation.

The High Court observed that the allegation of adultery was not raised before the family court. Even if the issue had been raised but ignored, the husband should have requested a review, which he did not do, and thus the adultery complaint appeared to be a “measure of desperation to evade obligation.” imposed by the family court.

As a result, the High Court dismissed the husband’s appeal, upholding the Family Court’s maintenance order.

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