No divorce if spouse is compelled to live separately: SC
The Supreme Court has ruled that a husband or wife is not entitled to divorce if it is proved that one deserted the other due to constant torture or harassment.
For instance, if the wife due to constant harassment is compelled to leave the matrimonial home and live separately, the husband cannot invoke the ground of "desertion" as provided under the Hindu Marriages Act to obtain divorce, a bench of Justices P Sathasivam and Asok Kumar Ganguly said in a judgement.
The apex court passed the judgement while dismissing the appeal of Ravi Kumar who sought divorce from his wife on the ground of desertion, although it was his constant harassment which drove her to leave the husband's home and live separately.
Under the Hindu Marriage Act, divorce can be granted if it is established that one of the spouse has deserted the other.
"In this case, the child has clearly stated the cruelty of the appellant-husband towards his wife. Therefore, there is sufficient reason for the wife to stay apart. Under such circumstances, one cannot say the wife is guilty of either cruelty or desertion," the apex court said.
The apex court said the Himachal Pradesh High Court had rightly quashed the divorce granted to Ravi Kumar on the basis of the child's testimony which stated that it was the father who constantly harassed the mother compelling her to leave the home.