"inflicted such cruelty, agony and trauma on him"
A Delhi Court granted divorce to cricketer Shikhar Dhawan on grounds of “cruelty” inflicted on him by his estranged wife Aesha Mukerji.
They got married in 2012 and have a 10-year-old son named Zoravar.
Aesha was previously married and has two daughters with her first husband.
Family Court Judge Harish Kumar accepted Shikhar’s accusations against his wife after it was stated that she was unable to prove his allegations were false.
The judge concluded that the cricketer was subjected to mental agony by Aesha, who forced him into a long-distance marriage by living in Australia.
She also kept Shikhar away from his son for years.
Both Aesha and Zoravar are Australian citizens.
In his petition, Shikhar claimed that Aesha had promised to move to India to be with him because his career commitments prevented him from moving to Australia.
But she later backtracked on her promise and refused to move as it would mean she would give up custody of her two daughters to her first husband.
The court said: “He (Dhawan) for no fault of his own had been through immense agony and anguish of living separately from his own son for years.
“Even though the wife denied the allegation, submitting that though she genuinely wanted to live in India with him, yet she did not choose to contest the claim.
“The respondent, by conducting herself in the manner, has inflicted such cruelty, agony and trauma on him, that it was impossible for the petitioner to save the marriage.”
Shikhar Dhawan also alleged that Aesha forced him to name her as the owner of three properties he had acquired in Australia.
Aesha owned 99% of one of the properties and was a joint owner in the other two.
The court said Aesha was unable to prove that she did not force Shikhar to make her an owner of the properties and she also contributed funds towards their purchase.
The court added: “The respondent was required to prove that properties were purchased out of her fund as well or her name was included out of love and affection.
“Thus, Dhawan’s allegation that she compelled him to make her owner to some extent in all three properties or that she pocketed sale proceeds thereof has got to be believed as true.”
Shikhar had also claimed that his estranged wife forced him to pay child support for their son and her two daughters, whom she was already receiving support payments from her first husband.
These allegations were also accepted.
The court has now granted mandatory visitation rights to Shikhar to see his son in India and in Australia.
It also ordered Aesha to bring their son to India for visitation purposes including overnight stays with Shikhar and his family and during the school holidays.