Case: What would amount to cruel behaviour on part of one spouse to utter detriment of other
Venkatesh Narasimhan vs V Sujatha
About/from the judgment:
The High Court while addressing a matrimonial application stated that,
“Marriage is no doubt a sacrament, but it cannot be a one sided affair.”
Present appeal has been preferred against the Judgment of Family Court wherein the marriage between the appellant/respondent and respondent/petitioner was dissolved as the same was sought on grounds of cruelty and desertion within the meaning of Section 13(1)(i–a) and (i–b) of Hindu Marriage Act.
Respondent/Petitioner alleged that the conduct of the appellant/respondent was extremely cruel and he possessed a callous and indifferent attitude since the initial years of marriage.
It was also discovered that he had many personality and behavioural problems, wife time and again tried to cope up with husband’s shortcomings an tried to help him acquire stability and status in life, many times forgiving his violence.
On repeated occasions, she found to her consternation, that the appellant/respondent made no effort to either settle down in his job or contribute to the household including taking care of their child’s educational needs.
Things reached a breaking point when despite the request of the respondent/petitioner not to invite his parents to their transit accommodation at Jawahar Lal Nehru University which had limited space and to request them to stay with his sister who was residing in Gurgaon, the appellant/respondent threw a tantrum and left the house in October 2011 without understanding that the reason for the said request was only the pre- board exams of their daughter.
Premised on the above-stated facts, respondent/petitioner filed for divorce.
Appellant/respondent preferred the present appeal on the ground that the petition for divorce has been filed by the respondent/petitioner after nearly 20 years of the marriage and therefore, it ought to have been dismissed.
Counsel for the appellant contended that, language used by respondent/petitioner in her letters does not demonstrates any hard feelings between the couple and thus the story of cruelty was just a figments of imagination of respondent/petitioner on which marriage could not have been dissolved.
Analysis and Decision
A drowning man clutching on to a straw
It is quite evident from the letters written by the respondent/petitioner that while she was doing her very best to preserve the marriage, there was no reciprocation from the appellant/respondent.
“I have been writing to you every week regularly. There is no reply from you? I have left 4-5 inlands in our room letter holder. Pick one of them and write back soon.” In the letter dated 29.07.2000, once again, it starts “how are you? There is yet no letter from you.” Therefore, to submit that these letters disclose a ‘happy family’ scenario, is to blink at the truth.
Bench while noting the log list of instances of cruelty, stated that,
repeated onslaught on her emotions even subsequent to these instances took a toll on the physical and mental health of the respondent/petitioner.
All the relevant events that have continuously occurred in the lives of the parties, reflect a one sided relationship where the appellant/respondent took everything for granted, with no sense of responsibility, while the entire burden of trying to keep the marriage alive was left for the respondent/petitioner to shoulder.
Court also added that, this is a typical case that showcases as to what would amount to cruel behaviour on the part of one spouse to the utter detriment of the other.
Material on record goes to amply demonstrate the sincere efforts made by the respondent/petitioner to salvage the marriage and show that she did more than what was her duty, to preserve it.
Thus in light of the above observations, Family Court’s decision is upheld.
Read the Judgment
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