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Man Can't Run Away From Responsibility Towards Son & Wife By Simply Seeking Divorce To Serve His Parents: Madhya Pradesh High Court

Zeeshan Thomas
15 April 2022 1:00 PM GMT
Man Cant Run Away From Responsibility Towards Son & Wife By Simply Seeking Divorce To Serve His Parents: Madhya Pradesh High Court
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The Madhya Pradesh High Court, Indore Bench recently dismissed the appeal preferred by Appellant/husband for grant of divorce, holding that being a husband and a father, he could not run away from the responsibility by simply taking divorce on the ground that he wants to serve his mother and father for the remainder of his life or that he and his wife were not living together...

The Madhya Pradesh High Court, Indore Bench recently dismissed the appeal preferred by Appellant/husband for grant of divorce, holding that being a husband and a father, he could not run away from the responsibility by simply taking divorce on the ground that he wants to serve his mother and father for the remainder of his life or that he and his wife were not living together for many years.

Elucidating the concept of marriage as per Hindu Laws, the division bench of Justice Vivek Rusia and Justice A.N. Kesharwani observed-

Based on Hindu law, marriage is a sacred tie and the last of ten sacraments that can never be broken. Also, it is a relationship that is established by birth to birth. Also, it is not only considered as sacred but it is also a holy union. The main objective of marriage is to enable a woman and a man to perform their religious duties. Along with this, they also have to beget progeny. Based on ancient writings, a woman is considered half of her husband and thus completes him. While a man is also considered incomplete without a woman.

The facts of the case were that the Appellant/husband had filed an application before the family court for divorce U/S 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act. After examining the documents on record, the lower court had concluded that the matrimonial dispute between the Appellant/husband and Respondent/wife was petty in nature, which did not amount to cruelty on the part of the wife and therefore, the husband was not entitled to dissolution of marriage. Aggrieved by the said order, the husband preferred an appeal before the Court.

The Appellant/husband submitted that he and the Respondent/wife were living separately for almost 10 years and that there was no cohabitation during the said period. He argued that earlier, he had filed application for divorce on two occasions and later withdrew both of them as he had come to a compromise with his wife but even after doing so, she did not change her behaviour towards his parents. Therefore, he asserted, there was no possibility or hope of them living together for the rest of their lives.

He also brought the attention of the Court to the fact that he was subjected to mental cruelty due to the behavior of the Respondent/wife. He submitted that she tried implicating him falsely for an offence punishable U/S 498-A IPC, in which he was acquitted. Accordingly, he prayed that he was entitled to a decree of divorce.

It was further submitted that whenever the respondent lived in the matrimonial house, she used to pressurize to live with him separately from his parents.

Per contra, the Respondent/wife argued that since her husband approached the family court seeking decree of divorce, therefore, the burden was upon him to prove allegations levelled against her within the scope of Section 13(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act. She argued that the Appellant/husband had failed to establish physical or mental cruelty by leading cogent evidence, and therefore, the lower court had rightly declined the decree of divorce.

The Respondent/wife further submitted that she and her husband had reached the advanced age of life, and they needed companionship for the remainder of their lives. With regard to their 22-year-old son, she asserted that the Appellant/husband owed a responsibility towards him. She contended that she had taken care of their son all by herself and that a divorce, at the given stage, would push his future in the dark. She concluded that merely a long period of separation cannot be solely ground for divorce when there was hope of coming together.

Considering the submissions of the parties and documents on record, the Court concurred with the submissions of the Respondent/wife, opining that the disputes between the couple were not serious in nature and that the same could not amount to mental cruelty on the part of the wife towards the husband. The Court added that such disputes were 'very normal' in 'all the matrimonial houses in this country'.

Perusing the letters exchanged between the husband and the wife over a period of time, the Court observed-

She appears to be a sensible lady, therefore some incident that took place 10-12 years back, which is normal between husband and wife, cannot be a ground for divorce. Their son reached the age of 22 years. The appellant/husband being a husband and father cannot run away from the responsibility towards his son by simply taking divorce on the ground that he wants to serve his mother and father for remaining his life. His son must be the same feeling to serve his father. The appellant has a responsibility toward his son and wife also, he cannot leave them alone at this stage of life.

The Court, thus, noted that Appellant/husband had failed to make a case for grant of decree of divorce-

We are of the affirm view that the appellant has failed to establish his case to get the decree of divorce. The decree of divorce cannot be granted merely on the ground that husband and wife are living separately since last so many years. The appellant has failed to establish the allegation levelled in the petition by leading evidence.

With the aforesaid observations, the Court refused to interfere with the order of the family court and the same was affirmed. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.

Case Title: Parag Pandit V Smt.Sadhana

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (MP) 110

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment

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