The Madras High Court recently observed that the concept of marriage in the present generation is taken very lightly and even for trivial issues, they file divorce, and marriage is broken.
The Bench of Justice V. Bhavani Subbaroyan specifically remarked,
"The Family Courts increase in numbers to cater to the demand of intolerant couple, who are unmindful of the institution of marriage, break the relationship on unimaginable trivial reasons."
The matter before the Court
The respondent/husband filed an Original Petition before the Family Court against the petitioner/wife seeking a declaration of the marriage solemnized in July 2018 as null and void.
It was alleged that the wife was suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (for brevity 'PSOS') and the respondent/wife was not fit for cohabitation or give birth to a child.
After filing of the OP, the husband also filed an Interim Application (pending consideration) seeking for an amendment to include Section 12(1) in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 on the ground that the wife was incapacitated for giving birth to a child.
The husband also claimed that the 'PSOS' is to be impotency and sought the declaration of the marriage that took place between the petitioner and the respondent in July 2018 as null and void.
The husband made a categorical allegation that his wife is suffering from 'PSOS' due to which her menstrual cycle would extend for more than 25 days and she is under mediation ever since the date of puberty.
Pursuant to this, the Petitioner-Wife approached Madras HC (under Article 227 of the Constitution of India) praying to strike off the petition in O.P. 4784 of 2019 on the file of III Additional Family Court, Chennai on the ground that the invocation of Section 12(1)(a) of the Hindu Marriage Act was not sustainable by raising various grounds.
At the outset, the Court remarked that the issue of 'PSOS' is now commonly prevailing among the present generation of women and that the term 'PSOS' by itself cannot be termed as 'impotence.
"Impotency is different and unable to give birth to the child is different, owing to various physical and mental reasons", noted the Court.
The Court also observed that the husband did not plead that the wife's inability to give birth to a child is 'Impotency', however, he did seek for annulment of a marriage on the reason that there was no cohabitation and wife could not bear a child.
The Court also noted that his claim was that his wife/ petitioner could not bear a child for two reasons, viz., firstly, there is no cohabitation, secondly, the wife is suffering from 'PSOS' due to which the said wife suffers an improper menstrual cycle.
Significantly, the Court opined,
"It is a legitimate expectation of the husband to live with his wife and have cohabitation and bear children and if the same is not achieved owing to any physical and mental problem among the partners, it is quite logical that either of the parties will approach the court for seeking divorce on such allegations."
Turning to the facts of the Case, the Court observed that the Wife could not show that there was no cause of action disclosed by the averments made in the petition filed by the husband or that the cause of action disclosed by the averments made in the petition was not natural, but illusive.
Consequently, the Court ruled that the Wife did not make out any grounds seeking for the intervention of this Court under Article 227 of the Constitution of India to strike off the petition and accordingly, the Civil Revision Petition was dismissed at the threshold.
Case title - Annapoorani v. S. Ritesh [C.R.P.No.106 of 2021 and C.M.P.No.995 of 2021]