Delhi High Court: Delivering its judgment in a petition for the annulment of the marriage on the grounds of mental cruelty, the Division Bench of Pradeep Nandarajog and Prathibha Rani, JJ granted divorce to a couple who had been married for just five months before filing for divorce. The Court observed that though irretrievable breakdown of marriage was not a ground to grant divorce, but the Courts have blended the concept of cruelty with irretrievable breakdown of marriage.
In this case, the Family Court had rejected husband’s plea for divorce therefore he had appealed against the decision in the High Court. The Court noted that in the instant case there had been many instances of mental cruelty faced by the parties from which it was clearly visible that, the couple were going through a difficult phase of their life. Whereas the husband had contended that wife was rigid, rude and shy in nature, the wife complained about illicit sexual relationships, drinking and smoking habits of her husband. Moreover, the wife also alleged that she came to know about her husband’s suffering from an incurable disease only after the marriage which led to concealment of facts from the husband.
The Court observed that where there was evidence that the husband and wife indulge in mutual bickering, leading to remonstration and therefrom to the stage where they target each other mentally, insistence by one to retain the matrimonial bond would be a relevant factor to decide on the issue of cruelty, for the reason the obvious intention of said spouse would be to continue with the marriage not to enjoy the bliss thereof but to torment and traumatise the other. Fast paced lifestyle, complexities of living, a breakdown of support systems and the challenges of economic instability had obviously taken a toll on the couple, the Court observed and granted divorce to the parties. [Anurag Sharma v. Manushi Sharma, 2016 SCC OnLine Del 5871, decided on November 10th, 2016]