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Wife visiting parental home without husband's permission not cruelty or desertion

Wife visiting parental home without husband's permission not cruelty or desertion

Mohit Preet Kapoor Vs Sumit Kapoor

Allahabad HC


FIRST APPEAL No. - 351 of 2020

About/from the judgment:

The High Court has held that a wife visiting her parental home without the husband's permission, would not amount to cruelty or desertion.

The Court therefore, set aside an order of the family court granting divorce to a husband on grounds of desertion and cruelty.

"The act of the appellant in visiting her parent's house, in any case, even without the permission of the respondent does not amount to cruelty," the Court said.

The divorce petition was filed by the husband when his wife left her matrimonial home, while she was in early stages of pregnancy, and refused to return. The husband alleged that this was "without any rhyme or reason" and thus, contended desertion on her part.

Another ground contended for seeking a divorce was that the wife would refuse to do the household work, misbehaved with the husband's family members and would go to her paternal home without informing him.

On examining the case, the bench observed that the conduct of the wife could not be inferred as desertion since her parents' home was barely 400 meters away, and she was pregnant when she left.

The Court made this observation while explaining that the question of desertion was a matter of inference to be drawn from the facts and circumstances of each case.

"It cannot be inferred that the appellant had deserted her husband (respondent) with the intention to bring cohabitation permanently to an end.. Further, the act of the appellant in visiting her parents house frequently without taking consent of her husband and other family members cannot constitute the offence of desertion on her part," the judgment said.

Additionally, the High Court rejected the conclusion of the trial court that the wife subjected her husband to cruelty since she went to her parent's house without informing him and did not carry out daily chores. The Bench found that the husband could not prove any of these acts.

"The general allegations and casual statement of the respondent in the divorce petition has been treated as a gospel truth by the Family Court without any cogent evidence on record," observed the bench.

With these observations, the Court found that the divorce decree was unsustainable. However, the Court addressed the issue of the appellant and her daughter's maintenance.

The family court had granted ₹5,000 as monthly maintenance towards the appellant and ₹2,000 for the minor daughter. The High Court enhanced the daughter's maintenance to ₹30,000 a month.

"Considering the fact that the respondent is a Chartered Accountant and is engaged in this profession since the year 2012, we find it fit and proper that an amount of Rs.30,000/- per month shall be paid by the respondent towards maintenance of his daughter", the judgment recorded.

Read the Judgment


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