No divorce for isolated incident of woman's misbehaviour: apex court

No divorce for isolated incident of woman's misbehaviour: apex court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday held that divorce cannot be granted on an isolated incident of misbehaviour of a woman with her husband in the presence of others, as there could be myriad reasons for such acts.

A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and Abhay Manohar Sapre set aside the dissolution of the marriage of a man, working as a caretaker in a department under the Delhi government, saying he had failed to make out any case of cruelty against his wife.

The man, whose marriage was solemnised in 1999, sought divorce from his wife in 2010 after the birth of two daughters, citing several incidents of his wife’s misbehaviour with him and his family on occasions like Diwali and New Year’s eve. He also claimed lack of enthusiasm on his wife’s part to mingle with his family members as other instances of cruelty to seek divorce from her under the Hindu Marriage Act.

After going through the evidence, the bench, however, said it appears that it is the man who withdrew from the wife’s company without there being any reasonable cause to do so.

“No decree for divorce on one isolated incident can be passed. Secondly, there could be myriad reasons for causing such isolated incidents. Merely because both exchanged some verbal conversation in the presence of others would not be enough to constitute an act of cruelty unless it is further supported by some incidents of alike nature,” it said.

The court advised the couple to give “a quiet burial to their past deeds/acts and bitter experiences and start living together and see that their daughters are well settled in their respective lives”.

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