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Husband, wife two pillars of family; one cannot single-handedly hold the house together

Husband, wife two pillars of family; one cannot single-handedly hold the house together

Sunil Sharma Vs Preeti Sharma

Delhi HC


MAT.APP. (F.C.) No. 116/2021

About/from the judgment:

While dissolving a marriage, the High Court recently held that a husband and wife are two pillars of the family and neither can be expected to run a household single-handedly.

The Court noted that in the present case, the husband had put the entire burden of running the house as well as looking after their two daughters on his wife.

"Husband and wife are two pillars of the family. Together they can deal with any situation, balancing the family in all circumstances. If one pillar gets weak or breaks, the whole house crashes down. The pillars can withstand all the abuses together, the moment one pillar gets weak or deteriorates, it becomes difficult to hold the house together. When one pillar gives up, and puts all the burden on the other pillar, then it cannot be expected that one pillar will single handedly hold the house together," the Bench observed.

Before the High Court, the husband had challenged an August 2021 family court order decreeing a divorce in favour of the wife on the ground of cruelty under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act.

The couple had gotten married in 1997, and later had two daughters. Subsequently, the relationship turned sour and the couple opted for divorce before a Saket Court, which, while decreeing divorce in the wife's favour, struck off the husband's defence.

In his plea, the husband claimed that he took proper care of his daughters and his wife, and was a doting father. He claimed to have helped his in-laws clear their debt, despite which the wife often quarrelled with him and even doubted his character. He claimed that the wife physically and mentally harassed and tortured him.

The wife alleged that her husband has not been paying for the expenses of the family and instead she had to single-handedly look after her daughters while working. She highlighted the fact that her husband had been defying court orders asking him to pay maintenance.

The husband had made a specific contention that his wife subjected him to cruelty by making claims that he was an impotent and was weak in sex. However, the Bench noted from the family court orders that the husband himself had told the wife that he had become weak in sex and thus, the couple could not consummate the marriage.

The Bench noted that the family court did not premise its orders on this contention, and in fact, did not mention impotency or anything of that sort in its orders.

After examining the material on record, the Bench concluded that it did not find any reason to differ with the view expressed by the family court.

"The husband had put the entire burden on the wife to manage the house, her job, and to look after the children. He did not take any responsibility and, on the other hand, continuously abused her and insulted her family members. He even disrespected her father, and doubted her character. He demanded money to give divorce to her and failed to discharge his duties as a husband – and especially as a father. Even after directions of this Court and the Family Court, he falsified about his earnings and failed to pay the maintenance for his daughters. Prima facie, the allegation of domestic violence had been proved by the wife," the High Court held.

The Bench noted that the marriage was broken "irretrievably" and accordingly, upheld the orders of the family court that granted divorce.

Read the Judgment


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