High Court Of Chhattisgarh: Refusal by Wife to Stay Apart Would Not Amount to Cruelty by Wife When the Husband Expects the Wife to Stay At A Place Other Than His Company Without Sufficient Reason.

Title: Smt. Kalyani Bai v. Tejnath @ Kejwaram Sahu 

Decided on: 17th October 2023 

F.A(MAT) No.12 of 2019 

Coram: Hon’ble Justice Shri Goutam Bhaduri & Hon’ble Justice Shri Deepak Kumar Tiwari 


Chhattisgarh High Court has set aside an order of the family court granting divorce on ground of cruelty by wife. Upon examining the facts and grounds taken by the husband, it was found that none of the grounds were satisfying to claim decree of divorce. 

Facts of the case  

The parties in the case got married on 08.05.2008 and a girl child was born on 19.07.2009. After marriage, as per the social custom the wife returned to her matrimonial house situated at Barduli and both lived happily together for about 6 months. Initially the wife did not like the marriage as it was performed in the rural area. Later, she joined B.Ed course at Raipur and after finishing her examination the husband had gone to pick his wife from Raipur but she stated that she would reside at her maternal house situated at Devarbija as she had conceived. She refused to go with him as there was no proper medical facilities at the village of her in-laws and she delivered a baby girl on 19.07.2009 at Devarbija. In 2010, the wife had filed a police complaint for dowry at police station Mahila Thana, Durg. The husband had called various social meetings, which were convened at Sahu Samaj, Saja in the month of December, 2013 but the wife did not turn up. The wife had imposed a condition that she would not go to Barduli and reside separately, to which the husband accepted and both started residing at Pipariya from 26.11.2010. Later, the behavior of the wife changed to threatening that she will commit suicide stating she should be kept at Pipariya and she will not go to Barduli. The wife filed an application for maintenance before the Family Court, Bemetara in the month of May, 2011 following, the husband also filed an application for restitution of conjugal rights before the Court at Bemetara but was dismissed. He again filed an application for the same purpose at Family Court, Kabirdham in which, counseling was done and they started residing at Kawardha together for 4-6 months. The wife failed to compromise in negotiation and lok adalat. On 21.04.2014, wife again went to the office of the Respondent at Kawardha and threatened him to take her back to his house at Kawardha otherwise, she would kill herself. Though the husband had tried his level best to keep his wife with him peacefully, she always kept on imposing conditions and there was no physical relation between them since last 4 years. Thus, the husband sought divorce on the ground of cruelty. 

The trial Court, after evaluating the facts and evidence, passed a decree in favour of the Respondent-husband on the ground of cruelty. The wife has filed an Appeal against the judgment and decree of Family Court, Bemetara. 

Court Analysis and Decision  

Court opined that if the wife insists to stay with the husband and if husband  refuses without any specific reason or cause to keep her, it cannot be said as cruelty by the wife towards the husband for such insistence. In a wedlock mutual respect and company to each other is necessary. In its absence any forceful imposition of condition by either side may lead to a matrimonial dispute. When the husband expects the wife to stay at a place other than his company without any sufficient reason, the resistance by the wife to stay apart would not be a cruelty by wife. Examining the facts of the case and grounds taken by husband in Appeal, the bench is of the opinion that none of the grounds has been satisfied individually or collectively to entitle the husband to claim decree of divorce. Therefore, the Appeal of the wife was allowed and judgment passed by the Family Court, Bemetaran was set aside. 

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Written by- K R Bhuvanashri 

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