Harassment is something of a lesser degree than cruelty, and mere finding of harassment will not lead to a conclusion of abetment of suicide.{During a case dealing with suicide of wife and the acquittal of husband under Section 498A IPC barring Section 113A }


Mohan Mallikarjunagouda Shantanagoudar, being a Judge of Supreme court of India, is a former Chief Justice of Kerala High Court. He initially practiced at the Karnataka High Court as an advocate, later appointed as the Additional Judge in 2003, and elevated as a permanent judge of the Karnataka High Court on 29 September 2004. He was appointed as the acting chief justice of the Kerala High Court on 1 August 2016. He took the oath as Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court on 22 September 2016. 

Notable Judgements

Justice Shantanagoudar was part of a three-Judge Bench which stated that the “remedy of  writ of habeas corpus cannot be used for mere enforcement of the directions given by the foreign court against a person within its jurisdiction and convert that jurisdiction into that of an existing court.” The SC thus reversed the decision of the Delhi High Court which had allowed a habeas corpus as there was an order in a UK Court to that effect.

Along with Justice Nariman, Justice Shantangoudar held that in case of suicide of wife, the acquittal of the husband under Section 498A (Cruelty) will bar the use of Section 113A (Presumption of abetment to commit suicide) by the prosecution. The Court also held that “harassment is something of a lesser degree than cruelty, and mere finding of harassment will not lead to a conclusion of abetment of suicide.”

A division Bench of which Justice Shantanagoudar was part also upheld an observation of the Calcutta High Court and held that “25 percent of the husband's net salary would be just and proper to be awarded as maintenance to the wife.”

Taking a stand against the long-standing delays in the Judiciary, Justice Shantanagoudar along with Justice Mishra directed High Courts to dispose of review petitions as expeditiously as possible.


Justice Mohan M. Shantangoudar began his practice in Dharwad and Bengaluru in the Chambers of Mr I.G. Hiregoudar and Mr Shivaraj V Patil, respectively.  He began practising civil, criminal and constitutional matters independently in 1984. He served as Vice-Chairman (1991-1993) and Chairman (1995-1996) of the Karnataka State Bar Council.  He was Karnataka’s State Public Prosecutor from 1999 to 2002. In 2003, he was appointed as Additional Judge of the Karnataka High Court and in 2004 he became a Permanent Judge. During this time, he served as the President of Bangalore Mediation Centre and Karnataka Judicial Academy. On transfer, Justice Shantanagoudar was sworn in as a Judge of the Kerala  High Court o. He was sworn in as the Chief Justice of  Kerala High Court of Kerala on 22 September, 2016.