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Judiciary

Wife’s insistence to live separately from parents amounts to cruelty: Delhi High Court [Read Judgment]

By Jhanak Singh      25 August, 2023 01:49 PM      0 Comments
Wife’s insistence to live separately from parents amounts to cruelty: Delhi High Court

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court said a woman's "persistent insistence" on living separately from her in-laws without justification is torturous for husband and would be an act of cruelty, as it allowed divorce to a man.

A bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna said that unlike the West, in India, it is not usual for the son to get separated from his family and his wife becomes integral to it.

"Normally, without any justifiable reason, she (wife) should never insist that her husband should get separated from the family and live with her separately," the court said.

The bench allowed the man's plea against a family court order refusing to grant divorce.

The man sought dissolution of marriage on several grounds under the Hindu Marriage Act, including that the wife was "quarrelsome" and did not show respect to the elders at the matrimonial home and insisted that he reside separately.

"No husband would like to be separated from his parents and other family members. The persistent efforts of the respondent wife to constrain the appellant to be separated from the family would be torturous for the husband and would constitute an act of cruelty," the bench said.

It said the wife "has not been able to show any justifiable reason for her insistence to have a separate residence... The only inference that can be drawn is that her insistence to live separately from the other family members was whimsical and had no justifiable reason. Such persistent insistence can only be termed as an act of cruelty."

The son has a moral and legal obligation to take care of his parents when they grow old, the court pointed out.

"In India, generally people do not subscribe to the western thought where, upon getting married or attaining majority, the son gets separa- ted from the family. In normal circumstances, the wife is expected to be a part of the family of the husband after marriage," the court said.

It said an acrimonious atmosphere at home cannot be a conducive for the parties to forge a cordial conjugal relationship and, the circumstances in the present case is bound to be a source of mental cruelty.

The court also relied upon a Supreme Court’s 2016 judgment in Narendra vs K Meena, which held that “it is not a common practice or desirable culture for a Hindu son in India to get separated from the parents upon getting married at the instance of the wife.”

The court noted it is not disputed that she had left the matrimonial home on April 28, 2003 and when the appellant along with his sister went to the parental home of the respondent, her parents refused to send her back unless they live separately from the parents of the appellant. It was pursuant to a petition under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 that an out of Court of settlement was reached between the parties and the respondent joined the matrimonial home. However, she again left the matrimonial home on July 20, 2007.

Advocates Nikhil Palli and Kshitij Pal, appeared for the husband and advocate R S Kela for the wife.

 

[Read Judgment]

Author - Jhanak Singh



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