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Adv k . mahesh (advocate)     28 April 2015

Sc: abusing in-laws a ground for divorce


Abusing in-laws a ground for divorce, says SC

New Delhi: April 26, 2015, DHNS:

Supreme Court clarifies wife's behaviour amounts to cruelty

The Supreme  Court set aside a Madras High Court order, which overturned the trial court's decision to grant divorce to the couple married in June 2004. DH file photo

Calling the police on flimsy grounds and describing one’s spouse as coming from a prostitute's family could not be treated as normal wear and tear of a married life and such behaviour could constitute sufficient ground to seek divorce, the Supreme Court has held.

A bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and Abhay Manohar Sapre allowed a plea by a man from Chennai for divorce from his wife on the ground that she was abusive, used to insult his family and threatened to lodge false complaints with police or commit suicide putting the blame on his family members.

“If a spouse abuses the other as being born from a prostitute, this cannot be termed as “wear and tear” of family life. Summoning the police on false or flimsy grounds cannot also be similarly viewed. Making it impossible for any close relatives to visit or reside in the matrimonial home would also indubitably result in cruelty to the other spouse,” the court said.

The Supreme  Court set aside a Madras High Court order, which overturned the trial court's decision to grant divorce to the couple married in June 2004.

Frequent abuse

The man, who went to the US with his wife, contended that she frequently abused his visiting brother and sister. On being requested to refrain from such insults, she threatened to commit suicide and once went on to call the police, making his life difficult in the foreign country, he claimed. She even called her husband's family as one descended from a prostitute. 

Taking his plea into consideration, the trial court granted him divorce filed under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act. It held that the behaviour of the wife amounted to cruelty.

Acting on the woman's plea for restitution of conjugal rights, the High Court, however, concluded that the trial court acted in haste. In a matrimonial relationship, parties must be prepared to subject themselves to the normal wear and tear of life, and that the situation at hand was no more than that, the High Court held, setting aside the trial court's order.

After the man challenged the High Court order, the apex court bench held that High Court was not justified in its decision as an examination of the divorce petition made it abundantly clear that various allegations of cruelty were made out and a number of incidents were mentioned therein


source:  https://www.deccanherald.com/content/474062/abusing-laws-ground-divorce-says.html


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