Married in 1944, couple in battle over cohabitation

In knots

The Bombay High Court would soon hear an appeal filed by Rajendra (86) against a 2005 order of the family court which directed him to live with his estranged 81-year-old wife, Sudha (both names changed).

Their divorce petition is pending in the Thane family court, but in 2005, Sudha moved the family court in Bandra, seeking an order that Rajendra live with her. The husband and wife have been living apart since 1976.

The couple got married in October 1944 and came to live in Mumbai in 1950.

However, in 1976, Rajendra decided to shift to a village in Thane district, to set up a poultry business there. Sudha, who was a high-ranking functionary in the women’s wing of the state Congress, refused to accompany him.

After living alone for almost three decades, she moved a family court here in 2005, seeking a direction to her husband to stay with her as she was ill and could not live alone.

The family court ordered Rajendra to resume living with her. Rajendra has said in his appeal against the order that she left him because of her political ambitions, and never cared for him when they lived together, and now wanted to resume cohabitation only because of “monetary interests”.

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