22 March 2023 11:04 AM GMT
While upholding the dissolution of a couple’s marriage on the ground of cruelty, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has observed that the wife not being respectful towards the Husband, or his family member would construe as cruelty towards the husband.The Court also factored into account the fact that the wife left her matrimonial home and is residing separately from the husband since 2013...
While upholding the dissolution of a couple’s marriage on the ground of cruelty, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has observed that the wife not being respectful towards the Husband, or his family member would construe as cruelty towards the husband.
The Court also factored into account the fact that the wife left her matrimonial home and is residing separately from the husband since 2013 without any just and reasonable cause and that she is not willing to live with the husband, making it a valid case of marriage dissolution on the ground of cruelty.
With this, a division bench of Justice Sheel Nagu and Justice Virender Singh upheld the findings of the family court which observed that the husband had proved the cruelty and hence, the bench dismissed the wife’s appeal challenging the order passed by the family court which passed a decree of divorce by allowing the husband’s petition.
Essentially, the Husband, Joint Commissioner Income Tax by profession, and wife got married in the year 2009, however, their marriage could not work, and hence, he filed a petition seeking divorce on the ground of cruelty and desertion before the Family Court in Jaipur, subsequently, the plea was transferred to the Court in Bhopal as per the orders of the Supreme Court.
The Family Court found both the grounds proved, however, it noted that since the statutory period of 2 years of desertion was not completed by the time of filing of the petition by the husband, therefore, a decree cannot be granted on that ground of desertion.
However, it allowed the petition on the ground of ‘cruelty’ and dissolved their marriage by a decree of divorce. Challenging the decree, the wife moved an appeal before the High Court.
The wife submitted that the family court did not take into account that the conduct of the husband was not just and fair towards the appellant and that he lodged several frivolous complaints against her just to harass her and to give away the custody of the child.
It was also submitted that the Court ignored the fact of the pendency of her petition under Section 498A of the IPC abd therefore, she prayed for setting aside the decree of divorce granted vide impugned judgment.
It was also claimed that the husband and his other family members used to taunt, insult and harass her for not bringing adequate dowry and on many occasions, the husband got physical.
On the other hand, the husband submitted that his wife is a very arrogant, stubborn, short-tempered, and pretentious lady who has a complex that she is a beloved daughter of an IPS officer. Further, the follwing acts were attributed to the wife by the husband.
- Since the day she entered her matrimonial house, she started disobeying everyone stating that she is a progressive girl and neither likes nor follows orthodox traditions.
- From day one, her behavior with the elders of the family and the society was disrespectful and disgraceful. She used to insult his family member on one or the other issues. She was not cordial even with him and immediately after marriage started abusing and torturing him mentally, emotionally and even physically.
- She used to fight with him on petty issues and whenever he tried to pacify her, she often become even more furious. She used to misbehave and abuse him as well as his family members.
- Wife got a case of demand of dowry registered against him. After the inquiry, the police found the case not proven and filed a closure report.
Against the backdrop of these submissions and keeping in view the principles of the preponderance of probability, on the scrutiny of this entire evidence, the Court observed thus:
"On careful reading of statements of the witnesses examined by the respondent/husband before the Family Court, we do not find anything to consider them untrustworthy or doubtful on any of the material aspects. These statements are further corroborated by relevant documents which could not have been rebutted by the appellant/wife; while on the other hand, keeping in mind the traditions, most of the allegations of the appellant regarding post wedding ceremonies or delivery of the baby in Jaipur etc. are usual conduct and expectations of the respondent and his family."
Consequently, finding the Family Court's order granting a decree of divorce in favor of the husband on the ground of cruelty to be reasonable, the Court dismissed the wife's appeal.
Case title - Santosh Meena vs. Siddharth B.S. Meena [FIRST APPEAL No. 1797 of 2019]
Case Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (MP) 40
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