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Suspecting character of spouse, visiting his office to create a scene, linking him with colleagues is cruelty

Suspecting character of spouse, visiting his office to create a scene, linking him with colleagues is cruelty

C Sivakumar Vs A Srividhya

Madras HC


C.M.A. No. 3249 of 2017

About/from the judgment:

The High Court held that suspecting the character of the husband, visiting his office and creating a scene and then filing a complaint against him without submitting any evidence would amount to mental cruelty.

A division bench granted divorce to a man while noting that his wife suspected his character and even visited his work place to create a scene.

She used filthy language and linked him to other female teaching staff working, in the presence of students and other colleagues in the college, the bench noted.

"We can safely infer that the wife visited the college in which the husband was working and she created a scene there by linking him with female teaching staff in the presence of other staff members and students. Certainly this act of the wife would amount to mental cruelty within the meaning of Section 13(1)(ia) of Hindu Marriage Act. We can also add that this act would certainly cause serious, irreparable injury to the image of the husband in the minds of his colleagues and students," the Court said in its July 5 order.

The Court was seized of an appeal filed by the husband challenging the order of a Family Court which denied him a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty.

The husband, a lecturer in a medical College and the wife, a government school teacher had married on November 10, 2008 and lived together hardly for two and a half years.

The wife claimed that her husband was having illegal intimacy with other women lecturers and he used to talk with them on cell phone till midnight. She in her complaint to a local police station stated that she wanted to reunite with her husband and live with him happily at least for a better future of her daughter.

During the hearing, the husband pointed out that the wife while leaving his company in 2011 had removed her thali chain (Mangalsutra), which is a sacred chain worn by a woman as a token of being married.

However, the wife explained that she had only removed that chain and had retained the thali. She submitted that tying thali chain is not necessary and removing it would also not have any impact on the marital life of a couple.

The judges, however, opined that the act of removing thali chain had its own significance and it showed that the parties had no intention to continue the marital relationship.

"It is a matter of common knowledge that tying of thali is an essential ritual in marriage ceremony that takes place in this part of the world. The removal of thali chain is often treated as an unceremonious act. We don't say for a moment that removal of thali chain per se sufficient to put an end to the marital knot, but the said act of the wife is a piece of evidence in drawing an inference about the intentions of the parties. The act of the wife in removal of thali chain at the time of separation coupled with various other evidences available on record, compel us to come to a definite conclusion that the parties have no intention to reconcile and continue the marital knot," the bench held.

The Court, therefore, allowed the appeal and granted divorce to the husband.

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