Delhi court grants divorce to estranged couple

Representative image. Photo by DH

A Delhi court has granted a divorce to an estranged couple, married for 21 years, on the ground that the wife had "willfully deserted" her husband "without any reasonable cause" despite continuing efforts from the man to stay together.

The court granted a divorce to the husband under the Hindu Marriage Act as the wife could not give "any reasonable cause" for living separately from him while noting that the couple had no conjugal relationship since 2014.

The Hindu Marriage Act allows for divorce on the ground if one of the spouses has deserted the other for a continuous period of two years before the filing of the petition.

The family court also noted that in August 2016, the woman, who is presently residing in Dubai, had left the country in August 2016 with regard to a research work without even informing her husband, which showed that her intention was to desert the petitioner.

"It is not mentioned in the entire written statement that the respondent (wife) is presently residing and working at Dubai, which clearly shows that there was intention of the respondent to desert the petitioner (husband) despite various efforts made by the petitioner for restitution of marital obligation between the parties," said Principal judge Shail Jain of Tis Hazari family court.

"I am of the opinion that the respondent (wife) has not been able to prove any reasonable cause due to which she had to live separately from the petitioner," the judge said in its recent order.

The petitioner husband through his advocate Atul Jain had sought dissolution of marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, claiming that his wife had not only deserted him but also subjected him to physical and mental cruelty.

He had alleged that his wife lived an independent life without attending to household duties and had also ended conjugal relations with him causing "grave mental cruelty".

He also claimed that he tried to get back with his wife several times, however, she rejected all his attempts and left the matrimonial house in Delhi on May 10, 2015, without any "provocation or reason" and also took all her belongings.

The husband alleged it to be cruelty that his wife, who was suffering from fibroids, was not able to conceive and had simultaneously not agreed for adoption even after repeated requests.

The court, however, rejected the husband's contentions with regard to cruelty and said, "not having good relations with the petitioner or not fulfilling matrimonial obligations cannot be construed as mental cruelty".

It also said that since the woman was suffering from medical problems and was not in a position to conceive, it cannot be termed as cruel behavior on her part.

According to the petition, the couple, which got married on January 31, 1998, in Agra are living separately since, May 5, 2015, and despite repeated attempts from the husband to resolve the dispute, the wife was not interested in reconciliation.

The woman, who holds an LLM and a Ph.D. in Law was a Principal of a reputed Law College and is currently pursuing a legal research project in Dubai, had alleged in court that her husband was a "compulsive drinker" and used to "mentally harass her, humiliating her on all possible occasions".

She had also alleged that on May 17, 2015, she had left her matrimonial home for "saving herself from clutches" of the petitioner.

The court, however, noted that she had nowhere stated as to what had happened on the said day.

The court also rejected the woman's claim that her husband and his family were not bearing the expenses of household expenditure and therefore she had to work to manage the family.

The court also denied her allegations in which she had said that her husband had approached her in office due to which she had to leave the job, however, the court pointed out that no such incident of misbehavior was reported by her during the case proceedings.

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