Chhattisgarh High Court Grants Divorce Under Hindu Marriage Law

The Chhattisgarh High Court has ruled that denial of physical intercourse by one spouse to the other in a marital relationship constitutes cruelty. Considering so, he granted the petition for divorce made by the husband in this case.

A dividing bench of Judges P. Sam Koshy and Partha Prateem Sahu observed,

it is evident that as of August 2010 there was no relationship as husband and wife between the two, which is sufficient to infer that there was no physical relationship between them. The physical relationship between husband and wife is one of the important parts for a healthy married life. Denial of a physical relationship with a spouse by others amounts to cruelty. Accordingly, we are of the view that the appellant was treated cruelly by the respondent wife.

The development ensued in an appeal brought under section 19(1) of the Family Courts Act 1984 by the husband challenging the judgment of the family court dismissing his petition for divorce for the grounds enumerated in Section 13 (1) (ia), (ib) and (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.

context

The appellant married the respondent in Bilaspur. After the marriage, the respondent-wife came to her matrimonial home and resided there. After a few months of marriage, the respondent went to her parents’ house to celebrate a few parties. It became a recurrence that she would continuously visit her parents on all important days, such as birthdays and festivals, for four years.

Therefore, the plaintiff/appellant applied Section 13 (1) (ia), (ib) and (iii) of the 1955 Act in the Bilaspur Family Court to seek dissolution of marriage dated 25.11 .2007 by way of a judgment of divorce.

The grounds invoked in the complaint were that a few days after the marriage, the respondent’s behavior was to treat the appellant with cruelty; she mentally nagged him constantly, saying he had a bulky physique and was not handsome. Moreover, after the death of the appellant’s father, she returned to the house of her parents, who lived there continuously for approximately four years; During this period, each time the Appellant contacted her by mobile phone and asked her to come back, she would ask the Appellant to move to Bemetara, where the Respondent’s parents lived.

The respondent-wife also took up employment without informing the applicant. It is alleged that it was specified that the respondent would not be employed at the time of the marriage.

Findings of the Court

The Court noted that Section 12(1)(ib) of the 1955 Act provides that a judgment of divorce may be granted on the ground that another party has abandoned the petitioner for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the submission of the application. petition.

The Court noted that the language used under Section 13 of the 1955 Act is clear and unambiguous that before filing an application for divorce on the ground of abandonment, the period of abandonment by either or the other of the spouses must not be less than two years old.

Noting that from the pleadings it is clear that the petition for divorce is filed within four months of the defendant’s desertion, the Court held that, in accordance with the provisions of Article 13 (1) (ib ) of the 1955 Act, an application filed by the appellant for divorce on the ground of abandonment is not admissible.

On the issue of cruelty on the grounds of not establishing a relationship as husband and wife and exchanging words between them, the Court noted that,

“Cohabitation between husband and wife is one of the essential parts of a marriage and the failure of either spouse to submit to a relationship may be one of the grounds for treating the other husband with cruelty.”

The Court noted that mental cruelty is not specifically defined in the 1955 Act. Yet it must be determined from the nature of the act, behavior and conduct of a spouse against of another. He referred to Jayachandra v. Aneel Kaur, in which it was held that mental cruelty is a state of mind and feeling in one of the spouses due to the behavior or behaviors of other people. Unlike the case of physical cruelty, mental cruelty is difficult to establish by direct evidence. It is necessarily an inference to be drawn from the facts and circumstances of the case. The inference must be drawn from the present facts and circumstances taken cumulatively.

Referring to several Supreme Court decisions, it has been held that it is not defined to indicate what mental cruelty is and what would be considered accepting the mental cruelty plea. He noted,

“Mental cruelty and its effects cannot be calculated arithmetically, they vary from individual to individual, from society to society and also from a person’s status. A feeling of agony or Elsewhere a sense of disappointment may arise from certain acts causing a serious gash on the mental level.The inference must be drawn from the present circumstances.

In this case, the Court noted that there was no physical relationship between the parties, due to the respondent’s refusal to do so, which would constitute cruelty to the appellant.

Case Name: Navodit Mishra & Anr v. Richa Mishra

Quote: 2022 LiveLaw (Chh) 16

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