Wife expected to be with husband's family; cannot compel to stay separated from mother-in-law without 'justifiable' reason

Sheenu Mahendru Vs Sangeeta

Uttarakhand HC


First Appeal No.139 of 2017

About/from the judgment:

"Normally, no husband would tolerate this nor would any son like to be separated from his old mother, who is dependent upon her son."


The Uttarakhand High Court has observed that the persistent efforts of a wife to compel her husband to get separated from his mother constitute an act of cruelty.


The judgment quotes extensively from a 2016 judgment of the Supreme Court in Narendra vs. K.Meena.


"In normal circumstances, the wife is expected to be with the family of the husband after marriage because she becomes an integral a part of the family of the husband, and without any justifiable reason, she may not insist that her husband stays separately from her old mother, and to live with his wife in a separate and rented accommodation.. In our opinion, normally, no husband would tolerate this nor would any son like to be separated from his old mother, who is dependent upon her son. The persistent efforts of the respondent-wife to compel the appellant to get separated from his mother would be torturous for the husband, and in our opinion this act of respondent certainly constitutes an act of cruelty."


The judges said that, in this case, they do not find any 'justifiable reasons' shown by the wife for living separated from mother in law. The judgment further observes:


"It is not a common practice, desirable and acceptable norm for a son to leave his old mother when there is no one else to take care of her in order to settle with his wife, particularly when he is the only earning member in the family. After being brought up and educated by his mother, the son has a moral and legal obligation to take care and maintain her when she becomes old and has no other source of income to maintain her."


Setting aside the Trial court order, the bench said that it did not consider the act of constant persuasion by the wife for getting separated from the mother of the husband and constraining the appellant to live separately only with her. The court listed the cruelty by the wife in this case.


Disrespectful and disparaging remarks by the wife against the husband would amount to cruelty


  • The wife created a pressure on husband by alleging that she will commit suicide and kill her son and entangle the appellant in a false case would amount to be a cruelty.
  • The attitude of wife abusing the mother in law and making sarcastic remark against the husband before the relatives of husband would amount to be a cruelty.
  • If the wife physically assaults the mother-in-law and abuses her will amount to be a cruelty.
  • Wife wanted the husband to leave his own mother and get separated from his mother so that the wife can live independently, and in that event it would become more torturous for the husband to stay only with the respondent-wife to tolerate such nature and behaviour of the respondent.

Read the Judgment

Knowledge and content of about almost all their respective descriptions are borrowed from law-related blogs and websites, we, therefore, wish to give proper credit to all the respective law-related blogs and websites like LiveLaw, Bar and Bench, LatestLaws, PathLegal, FirstLaw, Lawctopus, IndianKanoon, Manupatra, LegallyIndia etc.. Many of the judgments are also taken from them websites of Hon'ble Supreme Court and other respective Hon'ble High Courts!

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