Leaving the company of spouse without reasonable cause for many years amounts to desertion

Orissa High Court: While affirming the judgment and order passed by the learned Judge, Family Court, for dissolution of marriage between the parties with a decree of divorce, a division bench of S.K. Sahoo and Vinod Prasad JJ. held that the conduct of the appellant-wife in leaving the company of her husband and their small children and living separately for so many years since 2007 for pursuing her so-called political ambition amounts to desertion.

The instant case depicts the sordid episode of the life of a woman who spoiled her homely environment and family relationships running after the politics and politicians forgetting her solemn duties and responsibilities of a matrimonial life and neglecting her husband and children. After living separately from the appellant-wife for a period of more than two years, the respondent instituted a divorce proceeding.

The Court observed that the conduct of the appellant-wife clearly indicates that she deserted the respondent without reasonable cause and without his consent and wish. The Court further observed that she not only neglected to perform her matrimonial duties and obligations, but also instituted false cases against her husband. The Court noted that “the manner in which she had conducted herself for so many years and harassed and humiliated her husband has caused reasonable apprehension in the mind of the respondent that it would be harmful and injurious on his part to live in the company of the appellant and that is the probable reason why the respondent is not interested to live in the company of the appellant”.  Accordingly, the Court dismissed the matrimonial appeal filed by the appellant-wife and concluded that where reconciliation between the parties is not possible and the marriage has remained only for the name sake, the learned Judge, Family Court was justified in allowing the divorce petition under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. [Usharani Pradhan v. Brajakishore Pradhan, 2015 SCC OnLine Ori 444, decided on 19-11-2015]

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