Wife Forcing Husband to get Separated from Parents is Cruelty

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February 01, 2018

Case name: Prabir Kumar Das v. Papiya Das

Date of Judgment: January 29, 2018

In a recent case, the Chhattisgarh High Court while allowing husband’s appeal for divorce held that wife forcing the husband to get separated from his family which includes his old aged ailing parents tantamount to cruelty under Section 13(1) (ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

In the case, the Family Court had dismissed the Appellant husband’s plea of divorce on the ground of cruelty under Section 13(1) (ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Aggrieved by the same, the Appellant husband approached the Chhattisgarh High Court. Brief facts of the case are that the Appellant prayed for divorce as he alleged that  respondent was misbehaving with the appellant and his family members soon after the marriage and was not willing to reside with him. The Appellant also alleged that during his absence in the house, the respondent tried to assault/slap his mother by using obscene language. The respondent also threatened to implicate the appellant in a false case. She categorically and stoutly stated that she couldn’t live with the appellant and wants to be separate.

Court’s Observation and Order

In view of the aforesaid, the issue before the High Court was whether in the state of evidence on record, the respondent has committed marital cruelty on the appellant?

In view of the facts and circumstances of the case, the High Court made reference to Supreme Court’s verdict in the case of Narendra vs. K. Meena[1], wherein the Supreme Court has held that if the wife forces and exerts pressure on the husband to live separate from his old aged parents or from the joint family without any reasonable excuse/ground, the same would amount to cruelty.

The High Court to decide the issue made reference to the evidence on record wherein the respondent had admitted that she is not living with her husband since after July, 2010. The respondent during the counselling had also admitted that she cannot live with the appellant’s mother i.e. her mother-in-law.

The Supreme Court stated that in complete analysis of the statement of the respondent clearly discerned that the respondent was not willing to reside with the appellant/husband and also suggested that the mother-in-law should be sent to old aged home or that the parties may reside separate without obtaining divorce.

In view of the aforesaid, the High Court observed that the respondent appeared to be indifferent and casual towards matrimonial obligations and institute of marriage itself which is sacrosanct and should be honoured by both the parties.

The Court in the case while allowing the appeal held that insisting upon the husband to live separate from his mother, who is aged about 68 years and is suffering from cardiac problem is by itself a cruelty.

Also read Landmark Matrimonial and Divorce Judgments in 2017

Read the entire case here.

[1] Civil Appeal No. 3253 of 2008