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If one of the spouses refuses to grant a divorce on the basis of mutual consent after being persuaded that the marriage has failed, it is only cruel to spite the other spouse: Kerala High Court

If one of the spouses refuses to grant a divorce on the basis of mutual consent after being persuaded that the marriage has failed, it is only cruel to spite the other spouse is upheld by the Kerala High Court in the case of Beena M.S. v. Shino G. Babu through a division bench of A. MuhamedMustaque and Sophy Thomas, JJ., 

FACTS OF THE CASE

In the present case, the parties were married but they failed to establish an amicable connection and failed to achieve emotional intimacy. When the husband realised that moving forward would be impossible, he filed for divorce on the grounds of cruelty. The husband claimed that the wife’s habit of scrupulously chronicling her schedules and routines was a behavioural problem

JUDGEMENT

After reviewing the pleadings and the facts in the current case, the Court concluded that the parties never formed an emotional connection or an intimate relationship. Their inability to form such a link throughout their marriage was due to the fact that they were living in different cities at the time.

According to the High Court, a marriage is developed over time as a result of a harmonious blending of personal preferences, worldviews, attitudes, and the beginning of a marriage establishes a solid basis for the marriage.

In addition, the Court elaborated on the approach by stating that incompatibility is a recognised basis for divorce in some jurisdictions.If domestic harmony is not achieved during the early stages of a marriage, it could result in ongoing arguments and fighting, which would damage the union.

High Court further stated that because failing to mention the parties’ incompatibility would only serve to highlight either party’s innocence or culpability, we have stated the parties’ incompatibility at the commencement of our decision-making process. By incompatibility, we imply that both partners failed to establish the relationship, and neither can be held solely responsible.

The woman cannot be entirely held responsible for the breakdown of the marriage, according to the court and in fact, the email exchanges showed that the wife was under stress and going through an emotional roller coaster.

Even though the Court made that clear, the wife’s obsessive personality would have caused the parties’ relationship to start to deteriorate from the very beginning of their marriage.It looks that she has established a regimen for her everyday life that involves pursuing happiness based on timetables rather than being present in the moment. She did not understand that accepting life as it comes and not being a stickler for schedules is the key to marital peace.

The Court noted that there was no chance of restoring the failed union.Court said that the law on divorce accepted both fault and consent as reasons for separation.

When a husband and wife are unable to lead a fulfilling matrimonial life because of fundamental differences in viewpoint, and one party is willing to separate from the other but refuses to agree to a mutual separation, that circumstance alone would be cruel to the spouse who makes the separation request.

The High Court further ruled that if the Court can determine that the marriage dissolved owing to incompatibility and one spouse was refusing to provide their permission to a mutual separation, the Court can very well treat that behaviour as cruel.

The Court held that the Court cannot leave a spouse’s life to the mercy of the opposite spouse, stating that if the conduct and character of one party causes misery and agony to the other spouse, the element of cruelty to the spouse would surface, justifying grant of divorce.

The High Court concluded that if one of the spouses refuses to grant a divorce on the basis of mutual consent after being persuaded that the marriage has failed, it is only cruel to spite the other spouse.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL

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