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Divorce on mental illness and procreation ground

Dear Learned Sirs,

One of my friends got married with a girl in May 2014. Before marriage my friend asked the girl, if she had any medical problem or not. In reply the girl said no. But after marriage the girl was diagnosed with Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOD), and before the gynaecologist she disclosed she had history of oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea since 2011 and it was continuing. She was being consulted with gynaecologists for PCOD treatment by my friend. His wife was bit unhappy that she is having this problem and she is not being able to procreate. She stayed with my friend at his office colony situated in a state different from the hometown of both the girl’s and boy’s family.

Almost after a year in 2015 my friend left his wife in his parent’s house for two months at his wife’s own will, where she was living happily and her birthday and marriage anniversary was celebrated in-house. Unfortunately, during this phase one night when everybody was in deep sleep, she fell down from the balcony and broke her right femur. She in her statement stated she had slipped down from the balcony when she was putting clothes on the wire and nobody has caused any harm to her. In the hospital during her treatment, her mood swinging behaviour was observed by doctors and she was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder by psychiatrist. When her father was asked by my friend if she had any history of bipolar disorder, he disclosed that she was a patient of bipolar disorder and she was admitted to hospital in 2009 for this and she had cut her wrist in 2005, too. But he has hidden these things during marriage. Her father at that point said that he would take her daughter back from my friend so that his life doesn’t get disturbed. But my friend out of love for his wife said this is not possible at this juncture. After a month a suicide note was found in my friend’s nephew’s notebook where my friend’s wife has written that her husband and his family members were not responsible for her death and she is only responsible. This may have got aggravated by her manic phase due to her past affair and health issues. But no action was taken on this as everybody was happy that the girl was saved. Also previous prescripttions from 2009 to 2013 show that she had two episodes till 2013, she was aggressive, overtalkative, overspending, impatient, having no menses and she should not be left alone and her medicine should not be stopped. These entire things were kept hidden from my friend and his family by the girl’s family before and even after marriage.

After her femur operation she is staying at her parents’ house since last 7 months and her femur bone healing process is underway. She is also being treated for bipolar disorder. She is also showing signs of mood swing due to which she is behaving erratically and questioning the simple life style of my friend, who himself is working in  officer grade and questioned the living standard of his parents and brother’s family who are less earning and are living a simple life. Although she stays away from the boy's family she questions their living style which is somewhat unacceptable. For her treatment though my friend has spent a lot and still she has no feeling for that and inclined towards her own parents. She is sometimes getting too aggressive and trying to be extravagant and quarrelling with my friend. Her suddenly becoming angry was observed earlier also before her accident but nobody cared as any person can get anger due to some reason or the other. Even during marriage, my friend did not accept any dowry from them and declines to take anything till date. But his wife’s behaviour due to bipolar disorder is surely affecting their relationship. My friend is also afraid that if in future due to her bipolar disorder she makes any mistake then it would be a difficult situation for him. Therefore, he wishes to end the marital relation.

Now the question is how to do to it? Should my friend file a case against his in-laws citing the hiding of facts and getting her married? The proofs of these things are there with my friends. Or should he go for a divorce on mutual consent citing the medical problems of his wife? Will he need to pay any alimony under any condition although it is not his fault? He would not have married had he knew the facts. Is it possible to go for divorce when she had not got completely cured? Since they have hidden so many facts can her family put harassment charges against my friend, which is also untrue as she had already stated earlier during her fall?

Kindly advise.



 2 Replies


k.chandrasekharan (advocate)     18 March 2016

A divorce petition under section 13 of the hindu Marriages Act, on grounds of incurable disease is extremely difficult to be sucessfully pursued in the case described. Also there is no legally sustainable mental disorder to support divorce, from the narrative above.

It is better to go for counselling to rectify behavioural aberrations. PCOS is not an incurable disorder. If gynaecologist after conducting all tests comes to the conclusion that pregnancy in the normal course is remote then other methods, though expensive, like IVF, IUF etc can be adopted.

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