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Wife insisting husband to live separately from his parents is cruelty
Shailendra Kumar Chandra Vs Bharti Chandra
FIRST APPEAL (M) No. 124/2017
About/from the judgment:
In a significant ruling, the High Court recently held that if a wife insists her husband to get separated from his parents and threatens to implicate him in a false dowry demand case, it would amount to mental cruelty.
A division bench was hearing a petition filed by a husband challenging the order passed by a Family Court in Korba, date February 21, 2017 by which his plea seeking divorce on the ground of cruelty was rejected.
From the evidence on record, the judges noted that the marriage of the couple hardly worked for two months before differences cropped up between them. The wife often left her matrimonial house and went to her parental house.
Even her father insisted the husband to live in his house instead of the matrimonial house. However, the husband made several attempts to reconcile but in vain.
"It seems that the wife belongs to higher strata in their society in respect of financial status comparatively than the husband, hence, she wants to live with him but not along with her in-laws. And, therefore, she always creates mental pressure in this regard on him and has threatened also to fasten him in a dowry case," the judges noted.
The judges further noted that the husband's father was an old aged retiree employee and he also has a younger brother.
"In such a lower middle class family, it is the responsibility of the eldest son (as the husband is, in the instant case) to take care of his elderly parents, as he has deposed also in his statement. In such a situation, if wife persistently creates constraints upon husband to get separated from his family and to live with her at her parental house and also threatened him that, otherwise she will implicate him in dowry case, it, itself amounts to mental cruelty on the husband," the Court held.
To arrive at this finding, the bench noted the settlement deed for conjugal rights, in which the wife had specifically stated that she would live with the husband only if he lives separately from his parents.
"If wife persistently creates constraints upon husband to get separated from his family and to live with her at her parental house, it amounts to mental cruelty."
Further, the bench took exception to the observations of the Family Court wherein it had said that since no police complaints are lodged, there are chances of the couple to settle together in future.
The Family Court was unjustified in making such observation, the High Court said.
"We have no hesitation to hold that the Family Court was highly unjustified in making such observation. The Family Court has taken the role of a councilor rather than an adjudicator while doing so. It is after much efforts and counseling that a case comes up before the court for adjudication. Then the role of the court is to adjudicate the issue involved in the case based on the evidence after duly appreciating it. The Family Court is not supposed to advice the remedies to the parties or dispose of the case on the probabilities of leading happy marital life in future," the bench opined.
Accordingly, the bench granted a decree of divorce on grounds of mental cruelty to the husband.
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