Karnataka HC ‘cautions’ Family Courts to be more alive and alert while deciding Divorce cases [Read Judgment]

Karnataka HC ‘cautions’ Family Courts to be more alive and alert while deciding Divorce cases [Read Judgment]


Even if there is any apprehension of recurring of schizophrenic symptoms, the answer is in re-modeling the medicine, but not in amputing her marital/emotional life itself, the Court observed.


Setting aside a Family Court Judgment which had granted divorce to a Husband from his ‘Schizophrenic’ wife, the Karnataka High Court has cautioned Family Courts to be more alive or alert to each case before them.

In the instant case, the Family Court had allowed the Divorce petition both on the ground of mental cruelty and also on the ground of incurable unsoundness of mind. The wife preferred appeal to the High Court.

The Bench comprising of Justices H.G.Ramesh and Rathnakala observed: “the statute demands two elements to be proved to make a ground of divorce:-(a) Incurable unsoundness of mind (in the present case, Schizophrenia) and (b) to the extent of which the petitioner cannot be reasonably expected to live with her. Both factors are missing in the case brought to the Court. Her Schizophrenia condition is under remission. Without giving a breathing time for the relationship to settle and crystallize, husband has hurried to the Court.”

Cautioning the Family courts to be more alive and alert while deciding divorce cases, the Court observed: “We are taken aback by the endeavour made by the Family Court in taking the case to one of violation of Section 5 of the Act, which stipulates conditions of a valid marriage. Without there being any pleading or proof by the husband, the court below comprehends that the wife is unfit either for marriage or procreation of children. The Family Court, we are certain, was unmindful of the untenable and perverse finding it so recorded. In its enthusiasm to grant relief to the aggrieved husband, the Family Court has condemned the wife. The Family Court has transgressed its propriety and jurisdiction. Our concern is, the negative impact, the finding of the Family Court may have on the sentiments of the young lady before us. She has a long way to go yet in her life. The finding drawn against her is likely to have caustic effect on her psyche, who is already in struggle with life. We deem it in the fitness of things, to caution the Courts dealing with family matters to be more alive or alert to each case before them. Each case differs on its facts and circumstances. The endeavour of the Court must be to see, whether the case made out flows into the relief sought? If so, under what provision of law? If the Judge sits with a preoccupied mind, he has to extract reasonings from the void, when the record before him is bereft of legal evidence, as in the present case.”

Read the Judgment here.