The marriage between the appellant and the respondent is dissolved by decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty: Bombay High Court

By 1976 Amendment, the Cruelty was made ground for divorce. The words which have been incorporated are “as to cause a reasonable apprehension in the mind of the petitioner that it will be harmful or injurious for the petitioner to live with the other party.” In context of the Case No.561 of 2021 Premdeep S/O Nishikant Matlane vs. Mrs. Bhavana W/O Premdeep Matlane. The judgment was passed by G.A. Sanap.

The facts of the case are as follows: The respondent and the appellant got married on 04.072014 at Akola. After marriage, they went to stay at Panjim because the appellant at that time was working in the Panjim Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court. They started their married life blissfully. However, later on the discord in the relations were developed. It is the case of the appellant that after sometime in the company of the respondent he found that by nature she was aggressive. She would speak utter lies. She had extreme affinity towards her parents and particularly for parents’ residence at Akola. The respondent would quarrel with the appellant on petty matters. The respondent would tell the appellant that she was uncomfortable at Panjim in as much as the distance between Akola and Panjim was too far. The respondent according to the appellant would insist the appellant to leave the job and shift to Akola with her and take some new assignment at Akola. It is stated that in the family of the respondent her mother is dominating and the respondent was under the total influence of her mother. The respondent would follow the instructions and advice of her mother. The job of the appellant was permanent job in the High Court. He, therefore, did not agree to the suggestions made by the respondent to quit the job. It is alleged that  the respondent forcefully insisted the appellant to leave his job at Panjim and shift to Akola. She started causing mental pain and agony to the appellants. She made his life miserable. The wife did not maintain any relations with the appellant. The respondent according to the appellant opposed the idea of motherhood. The cantankerous behavior of the respondent totally fed up the appellant. However, the appellant made it clear to the respondent that he would not resign the job and settle at Akola, as suggested by the respondent. The appellant initially prayed for the decree of judicial separation on the ground of mental cruelty and harassment. However, during the pendency of petition he amended the petition and prayed for decree of divorce on the ground of harassment and mental cruelty as provided under Section 13(1)(i-a) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

The respondent filed the written statement and opposed the petition. In sum and substance, the respondent has denied material facts pleaded in the petition. She has categorically denied that she insisted the appellant to leave his job and settle down at Akola and take some new job at Akola. According to the respondent, the allegations are false, frivolous and baseless. She has stated that the appellant and his parents, within few months of her marriage started making demand of the fca24.2020judge.odt household articles. They ill-treated the respondent by pointing out that the marriage at Akola was not celebrated as per their status. They made demand of dowry. The parents of the respondent could not afford to pay the dowry. The learned Judge of the Family Court on appreciation of the evidence came to the conclusion that the case was not made out to grant a decree of divorce.

On the basis of the cogent and concrete evidence, the appellant has proved that for no reason and no fault on his part the respondent had made his life miserable.  The learned Advocate submitted that there is ample oral and documentary evidence to establish that the respondent made unfounded, unsupported and baseless allegations against the appellant and his family members. The learned Advocate submitted that the conduct of the respondent made the life of the appellant miserable. The learned Advocate submitted that the appellant being caring husband extended support to the respondent to peruse her further studies. The learned Advocate submitted that the arrogant and cantankerous nature of the respondent not only made the life of the appellant miserable but also made the life of his parents miserable. The appellant has stated that there was no question of making any demand of either dowry or other household articles in as much as they are financially well off. It has come on record that the father of the appellant has retired from the service of United News of India. His mother is serving as an Assistant Registrar in the High Court of Bombay, Bench at Aurangabad. It has come on record that they have three storied building of their own at Aurangabad. The further development would show that the appellant has now been transferred from Panjim to Aurangabad. In his evidence the appellant has stated that due to the false and frivolous complaints and reports made by the respondent to the various authorities, she has caused immense me the preposition of law laid down in the judgments (supra) squarely applies to the facts of the case of the appellant. It is further pertinent to note that the conduct of the respondent to perform the second marriage and not to lead the life with the appellant is writ large from the fact that she did not apply for restitution of conjugal rights. In the facts and circumstances we are of the opinion that the view taken by the learned Judge of the Family Court denying the decree of divorce for the reasons recorded in the judgment cannot be sustained. In our opinion, the appellant on the basis of cogent and concrete evidence has made out the case that he was made to suffer mental cruelty of high degree and therefore, he took a conscious decision to get separated from the respondentntal stress, depression, pain and agony to him and his parents.

The judgment passed was The family court appeal is allowed. The judgment and decree, passed by the Family Court at Akola, dated 07.12.2020, rejecting the prayer for granting divorce, is set aside. The Hindu Marriage Petition filed by the appellant is allowed. It is declared that the marriage between the appellant and the respondent is dissolved by decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty. In view of the decree for divorce the order granting decree for judicial separation does not survive.The decree be drawn up accordingly. Parties to bear their own costs.”


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