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Karnataka High Court uphold the principles of justice and fairness over abusive marriage.

Case title: MRS. L. S JYOTHI PRIYA VS LATE MR. K. L. SARAVANA AND ORS.

Case no: Misc. Appeal no. 4677 of 2016 (FC)

Order on: April 19, 2024

Quorum: HON’BLE MRS. JUSTICE ANU SIVARAMAN AND HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ANANT RAMANATHHEGDE 

Fact of the case:

The appeal was filed against the judgment of the III Additional Principal Judge, Family Court, Bengaluru by Mrs. L.S. Jyothi Priya who is the appellant. The late Mr. K.L. Saravana, the appellant’s husband, initiated matrimonial case M.C. No. 831/2010 and seeking dissolution of marriage under Section 13(1) (i-a) (i-b) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. It is alleged that Mrs. Jyothi Priya abused Mr. Saravana’s mother and assaulted his mother and sister. These incidents allegedly led to the breakdown of the marriage. Mrs. Jyothi Priya left the matrimonial home, purportedly due to mistreatment and harassment by Mr. Saravana and his family. She denies refusing to rejoin her husband and claims to have valid reasons for leaving. Mr. Saravana’s representatives contend that Mrs. Jyothi Priya refused to reconcile with her husband, contributing to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Mr. Saravana initiated legal proceedings, including issuing a legal notice requesting consent for mutual divorce, which was allegedly not replied to by Mrs. Jyothi Priya. Consequently, he filed a petition for divorce. A previous petition for divorce before the II Additional Family Court, Bengaluru, was dismissed. Mrs. Jyothi Priya filed a suit for maintenance before the Principal Family Court, Bengaluru, which was decreed in her Favor. However, Mr. Saravana allegedly failed to pay the maintenance as ordered by the court.

Issues framed by court:

Whether the grounds presented by Late Mr. K.L. Saravana for seeking dissolution of the marriage under Section 13(1) (i-a) (i-b) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, are substantiated and valid.

Legal provisions:

Section 13(1) (i-a) (i-b) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955: Deals with grounds for divorce involving cruelty.

Section 28 Hindu marriage act 1955: Deals with the power of the court to issue orders for payment of expenses during proceedings.

Section 24 Hindu Marriage act 1955: Deals with maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings.

Section 25 Hindu Marriage act 1955: Addresses the provision for permanent alimony and maintenance.

 Contentions of Appellant:

Mrs. Jyothi Priya denies the allegations of abusing her husband’s mother and assaulting his mother and sister. She contends that these accusations are false and fabricated. She asserts that she left the matrimonial home due to mistreatment and harassment by her husband and his family. She claims that she had valid reasons for leaving and that she did not refuse to rejoin her husband. Mrs. Jyothi Priya denies refusing consent for a mutual divorce. She states that she was willing to resume her life with her husband but did not agree to a mutual divorce due to the false allegations made against her

Contentions of Respondents:

The respondents argued that Mrs. Jyothi Priya abused her husband’s mother and assaulted his mother and sister. They claim that these incidents led to the breakdown of the marriage. Mr. Saravana’s representatives contend that Mrs. Jyothi Priya refused to reconcile with her husband and left the matrimonial home without any valid reason. They assert that her refusal to rejoin her husband contributed to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The respondents highlight that Mrs. Jyothi Priya filed a suit for maintenance, which was decreed in her Favor. However, they argue that Late Mr. Saravana failed to comply with the court’s order to pay maintenance for Mrs. Jyothi Priya and their son.

 Court analysis:

The court, after careful consideration of the evidence and arguments presented by both parties, finds that the marriage between Appellant and Respondent has irretrievably broken down due to various issues, including allegations of abuse and assault, refusal of reconciliation, and non-payment of maintenance. The court grants the dissolution of the marriage between Mrs. L.S. Jyothi Priya and the late Mr. K.L. Saravana. It orders Mr. Saravana’s representatives to fulfil their obligations regarding maintenance payments as per the provisions of Sec. 24 and Sec. 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

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Judgement Reviewed By- Antara Ghosh

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