Living together in marriage not irreversible: High Court upholds couple’s divorce
Living together in marriage is not an irreversible act, and when that tie is not working, there is no purpose in postponing the inevitability of the situation, the Delhi High Court Tuesday said while upholding an order granting divorce to an estranged couple which was living separately for 15 years.
A bench headed by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, dealing with the wife's appeal against a family court order granting divorce, observed there was no chance of reconciliation between the parties and the long separation "peppered with false allegations, police reports and criminal trial" by the appellant was a source of mental cruelty.
Any insistence either on continuing this relationship or modifying the family court order granting divorce to the husband will only be inflicting further cruelty upon both the parties, the court said.
"Living together in a marriage is not an irreversible act. But marriage is a tie between two parties and if this tie is not working under any circumstances, we see no purpose in postponing the inevitability of the situation," said the bench, also comprising Justice Neena Bansal Krishna.
"Though the disputes emanating from disrespect to respondent (husband) and his family members, frequent quarrels resulting in various complaints may individually be seen as innocuous and day to day quibbles, but when they persist over a long period of time, it results in mental agony for which there is no solution. Such prolonged differences made the life of respondent bereft of peace and conjugal relationship which is the bedrock of any matrimonial relationship," the court observed.
The husband sought divorce on the ground that the wife was aggressive, quarrelsome and violent towards him and his family members, frequently left the matrimonial home without informing and filed numerous false complaints against him and his family.
The appellant wife argued that the divorce petition was frivolous and the decree granted was liable to be rejected.
The court, in its order, observed that marriages under old Hindu Law were considered as a sacrament and did not recognise the concept of divorce until 1955, when certain grounds for divorce were introduced in law.
"With the passage of time, experience has shown that many a time, the marriages do not work because of incompatibility and temperamental differences, for which neither party can be blamed... We are bound by limits as defined under the (Hindu Marriage) Act, 1955 and unless the fault of the other spouse is shown, the parties are left to suffer acrimonious relationship with no way to exit," the court said.
"We conclude that in the present case the parties are living separately for 15 years now; there is no chance of reconciliation between the parties and such long separation peppered with false allegations, police reports and criminal trial has become a source of mental cruelty and any insistence either to continue this relationship or modifying the Family Court’s order would only be inflicting further cruelty upon both the parties," the court said.