‘Long separation, mental and physical torture, and the unwillingness of the parties to live together has left no scope to repair their marital bond’: Calcutta HC

In the case of  Jharna Mandal v. Prashant Kumar Mandal (F.A. No. 25 of 2010), the Division Bench of Hon’ble Justice Soumen Sen and Hon’ble Justice Uday Kumar of the High Court of Calcutta recently observed that a husband can be granted a divorce from his wife for subjecting him to mental cruelty if she forces him to get separated from his parents and also calls him a ‘coward and unemployed.’ The court recognized that due to the prevailing circumstances of the couple, no scope is left to repair their marital bond.

Facts of the Case:

The unemployment of the husband, in this case, seems to have been the root cause for the constant disagreements and commotions in the marital life.  The wife’s  grievance against the husband and his family over this issue was not redressed properly as such her feeling of hatred towards petitioner and in-laws were regularly expressed through her misbehavior. It is to be noted that earlier, the wife had filed a false criminal complaint against the husband for which he had lost his government job. She always cursed him for his cowardice attitude and she became belligerent to her in-laws which gradually increased after birth of their daughter. Due to multiple disturbances in the marital life the wife left the matrimonial home. Such behaviour of appellant towards respondent and his parents and relative had triggered feeling of strong aversion, hatred and bitterness in the husband to the extent that he decided to terminate his marital bond with Jharna by a decree of divorce. 


The Court noted that inherent contradictions are sufficient to shake the credibility of witness and strengthen the presumption of bringing false prosecution against her husband intentionally to prevent respondent from joining his Government job. 

“These evidences are sufficient to show her malice towards her husband. She willfully attempted to prevent him from joining in the service by bringing this criminal prosecution on false statements. Such cruel act of appellant has emotionally ruined him.”

The Court relied on the judgment of Joginder Singh v. Rajwinder Kaur and opined that, once a criminal litigation is initiated between the parties, there is no scope for reconcilement. The Court further observed that, due to the existing social values in India, a son living with his parents is absolutely normal as he has a pious obligation to live and maintain the parents. The court relied on the SC judgment in the case of Narendra v. K Meena that, continuous efforts of a wife to separate her husband from his family would amount to cruelty and be a ground for divorce. The Court held and noted that, “Long separation, mental and physical torture, unwillingness of party to live together, has left no scope to repair their marital bond. In such condition the marriage has become a fiction though supported by a legal tie. By refusing to sever that tie, the law in such cases, does not serve the sanctity of marriage; on the contrary, it shows scant regard for the feelings and emotions of the parties which may lead to mental cruelty. So the denial to grant a decree of divorce would be disastrous for the parties. In our opinion, wisdom lies in accepting the pragmatic reality of life and takes a decision which would ultimately be conducive in the interest of both the parties.”  

Thus, the Court upheld the decree of divorce granted by the Trial Court. 

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