On 9 September, Tripura High Court after hearing an appeal filed by the wife against the Judgement dated 25.09.2018 passed in case no T.S. (Divorce) 163 of 2014 by Family Court in Agartala, asserted the said judgment by noting “their sentiments and emotions have dried up and there is hardly any chance of restoration of their conjugal life.”
“His wife abandoned him along with their daughter when he lost his vision and was in dire need of their company and the support of his wife”, Division bench Justices S Talapatra and SG Chattopadhyay said this while dismissing the appeal. On 31.07.2002, the appellant (wife) and the respondent (husband) solemnized the marriage as per Hindu rites and customs and later a daughter was born on 28.07.2003 from their wedlock.
Being the petitioner in the trial Court, the husband made several allegations against his wife, the appellant herein. The Court also put the efforts for the reconciliation of their marriage, but the parties did not agree to stay together. As per the husband’s contention, according to him two years ago he got diagnosed with cancer through he which he started losing his eyesight day by day. He had a small business of motor parts in Agartala but as a result, he had to shut it down. Because of his blindness, his wife started abusing him and avoiding him. In 2007, when the petitioner was not home, his wife left his house along with their daughter and started living at her paternal home and never returned. Apart from this, his wife falsely accused him and his sister and implicated both of them in a criminal case under section 498A of IPC which amounted to mental cruelty. As a result, the husband filed a petition in Family Court under section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955 which is a decree of divorce on the ground of desertion and cruelty which was thereafter granted. As per the wife who is the respondent, rather denied all the allegations made by her husband against her. According to her, she never left her husband but kicked out of her matrimonial home by her husband. She mentioned that her husband was an alcoholic who abused her for dowry. The respondent said that she always wanted to live a healthy and happy conjugal married life with her husband but rather, there was no response from his side. But instead, he ousted his wife along with their daughter from his home. She wanted the dismissal of the petition of her husband seeking a divorce. The Trial Court, later found that the wife voluntarily left her husband’s home along with their daughter and never came back to reunite for 11 years which resulted in an irretrievable break down of marriage. It was further held that the allegations she made against her husband and his sister under section 498A were proved to be false in the appeal of Court session as well as in High Court. It was later revealed that the wife made such false allegations in order to harass her husband which resulted in cruelty for the purpose of granting divorce under section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act. The marriage was dissolved by the Trial Judge under section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955 on the grounds of desertion and cruelty which is challenged before the High Court in the present matter. The High Court considered the question of whether the grounds of cruelty and desertion against the respondent existed on the date of filing the divorce petition or not. As per the Court’s findings and evidence provided, it was impossible to say that her husband ever ousted her along with their daughter from his home. And it was further observed that the wife left his home without any particular reason and she never resumed her conjugal life thereafter or before the filing of the divorce petition. The Court held that “there is no denial of the fact that the husband and the wife are staying apart for more than 13 years and during this period they never lived together at any point in time. Efforts of the mediator appointed by this court for reconciliation of their relationship also failed. Therefore, we are of the considered view that clearly this is a case of irretrievable breakdown of marriage and it is quite impossible to save the marriage.” The Court further held that the Trial Court was justified in dissolving the marriage by a decree of divorce. Therefore, the appeal declared devoid of merit and was dismissed. [READ JUDGMENT]