Slight difference in ideologies of spouses must not lead to dissolution of marriage

Uttaranchal High Court: In a recent case addressed by the Court, the appellant husband whose plea for dissolution of marriage under S. 13(1)(a) of the Hindu marriage Act had been rejected by the Family Court stating that the ground for dissolution- cruelty could not be proved by the husband. The appellant pleaded that the evidence submitted by him was not duly considered by the lower court.

Counsel for the appellant submitted that he had proved every incident of cruelty suffered by his client. The Court on this decided to go through his contentions put forth before the trial court. He had stated that since the inception of his marriage with respondent, he was not being treated as a husband is treated and was threatened with dire consequences to fulfil every illegitimate demand of his wife. He placed before the Court the fact that his wife was a strong believer of superstition and supernatural powers and due to this belief of hers, all precautions were required to be taken for a period of allegedly so-called by her as “black month”. He told that during this black period, she used to force him to accompany her to a tantrik to adopt means of worship as per her wishes and to satisfy his deceased mother’s soul which she thought was responsible for their ill-fate.

The husband further submitted that she also pressurized that if the husband and his family members refused to visit her tantrik living in Himachal Pradesh, she would file frivolous petitions under the Dowry Prohibition Act or other law for the purposes of adopting a retrogressive attitude and mental cruelty. During this period, even their son was born when the wife had gone to Delhi to her parents’ place and the cruelty as contended by the husband was such that that he was not even allowed to meet his son.

The husband submitted that he made all efforts to make the wife come back to the matrimonial home, the wife gave lame excuses that she had no money to travel, the husband supplied the money for travel to the wife by depositing the amount in her account but despite that she has not returned to the matrimonial home.

On the other hand, wife alleged against the husband’s attitude towards her and submitted that the husband was an escapist who wanted to shy away from his domestic responsibilities, apart from the fact all bunch of allegation made by husband for the purposes of filing petition for dissolution of marriage are based on facts pleaded, but not proved only any cogent and independent evidence.

On hearing the contentions of both the parties, the Division Bench comprising Rajiv Sharma, J. and Sharad Kumar Sharma, J. referred to a few judgments of the Apex Court which explain what mental cruelty is and its parameters. The Court then thus observed that what required is not only the submission of a ground of divorce, but also the factum of that ground must be proved. The Bench further observed that Hindu marriage being a sacramental relationship cannot be broken only because of slight difference in ideologies and beliefs of spouses.

The Court held that in the instant case, there was not even a single evidence which had been brought on record or established by the husband in consonance to the pleadings to attract the concept of cruelty and hence, upheld the decision of the trial court. [Satish Kumar v. Poonam, 2017 SCC OnLine Utt 1535, decided on 20.12.2017]

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