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It was the appellant’s duty and obligation to appear before the court below and establish the counter charges: Madras High Court

It was the appellant’s duty and obligation to appear before the court below and establish the counter charges is upheld by the Madras High Court in the case of Narayanee v. S. Karthik through a division Bench of T. Raja and G. Chandrasekharan, JJ.

FACTS OF THE CASE

The subject of the current appeal was the Family Court’s decision to dissolve the parties’ marriage. The Counsel for the appellant wife contended that the trial court’s finding of guilt for cruelty meted out to the respondent husband could not be upheld because it was the result of the Court’s incorrect interpretation of all of the materials that were presented to it, including the contents of the various exhibits and the cross-examination of the respondent husband.

Additionally, it was claimed that the husband had created false documentation in order to avoid paying maintenance. Because of this, the wife was forced to pursue a series of legal actions, for which the appellant could not be discouraged by claiming that she had treated her husband cruelly.

JUDGEMENT

The bench declared that it was the appellant’s duty and obligation to appear before the court below and establish the counter charges by refuting the respondent’s allegations by seriously participating in the investigation. The attorney for the husband correctly argued that during the nearly 12-year duration that the divorce petition was pending, from 2007 to 2019, the appellant wife chose to file 13 interlocutory applications. However, it is unclear why she did not elect to appear before the lower court to participate in the investigation.

The Family Court of Mumbai determined that the appellant had dirty hands since she failed to demonstrate her employment status and source of income throughout the maintenance proceeding.

The Court upheld the lower court’s decision and the Court said that the wife had been absent from all proceedings for 12 years to refute the husband’s claims, including crucial claims like assaulting the husband on a critical body part that she had never denied, it was impossible to force the parties to cohabitate.

Accordingly, the High Court upheld the Family Court’s decision since it found no flaws or errors in it.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL

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