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  • The Chhattisgarh HC has granted divorce to a husband whose wife, citing a lack of ‘shubh muhurat’ (auspicious occasion) refused to return to the matrimonial home for 10 years, stating that this amounted to desertion.
  • In the instant case titled Santosh Singh vs. Amita Singh the appellant (husband) and the respondent (wife) got married in July, 2010 and lived together for 11 days. Subsequently, the wife’s parents came and took her away on the pretext of some important work.
  • The husband tried to get her back on two different occasions, but citing the lack of shubh muhurat she refused to come back. The husband moved the family court seeking a restitution of conjugal rights, which was decided ex parte but the wife did not act on it stating that she could not appear in the Court as she was stuck in some official work.
  • The husband then moved the family court seeking a divorce on the ground of desertion, which was refused on the ground that the husband had been unable to prove the said ground. Aggrieved, the husband moved the HC.
  • It was the wife’s contention that she was ready to live with the husband and that it was his fault that he did not come to take her when the auspicious occasion had started, which was a necessity according to their customs.
  • The Hon’ble HC observed that on perusing the facts of the case, it appears that the excuse of an auspicious occasion was used by the wife to keep away from the company of her husband.
  • The Court also noted that the wife sat dormant even when she knew that her husband had filed an application for the restitution of conjugal rights. Even if the excuse of her being busy in government duty was taken to be true, she could have settled the issue later with the husband outside the Court and the entire issue would have been resolved.
  • Consequently, the Court came to the conclusion that the wife, under the guise of an auspicious occasion, refused to join the company of her husband for 10 years, and this amounted to desertion as envisaged in section 13(1)(ib) of the Hindu Marriage Act.
  • Thus, in the instant case, a decree of divorce was granted.
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