Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh High Court Grants Divorce to Husband on Grounds of Mental Cruelty


Raipur
The Chhattisgarh High Court has overturned a trial court’s decision, granting the appellant husband a decree for the dissolution of his marriage. The Division Bench, consisting of Justice Goutam Bhaduri and Justice Radhakishan Agrawal, determined that the actions of the respondent-wife amounted to mental cruelty, thus justifying the divorce.
This case originated when the appellant husband challenged the Family Court of Raigarh’s judgment that had dismissed his divorce application filed under Section 13(1)(i-a) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. According to the appellant, his wife initially fulfilled her matrimonial duties after their marriage but soon began quarreling over trivial domestic issues. On May 27, 2014, she left their home with their three children without informing him or his family.
Despite the husband’s attempts to locate his family, he failed and subsequently filed a missing person report. He later discovered that his wife and children were staying at a friend’s house in a nearby village.
The husband made further allegations that on June 7, 2017, during his absence for a skill test, his wife committed an adulterous act at their home. Upon witnessing this, he raised an alarm and informed his family and the police. However, no action was taken against the man involved, who reportedly threatened the husband.
The respondent-wife denied these allegations, claiming the appellant was abusive and prevented her from seeing their children, forcing her to return to her maternal home. She argued that the divorce application was based on false grounds to facilitate remarriage.
After examining the evidence, the Family Court dismissed the husband’s request for dissolution of marriage. Dissatisfied with this outcome, the husband appealed to the High Court.
The appellant’s counsel contended that notwithstanding clear evidence of the wife’s adulterous behavior, the Family Court’s judgment was erroneous. He highlighted the wife’s frequent absences from the matrimonial home and the June 7, 2017 incident as acts constituting mental cruelty and urged the High Court to grant the divorce.
Conversely, the respondent-wife’s counsel argued that the appellant’s case lacked proof and that all the allegations were fabricated. She maintained that the Family Court had correctly dismissed the husband’s suit after thorough consideration of all relevant evidence.
After hearing both parties and reviewing the evidence, the Division Bench acknowledged that the couple had been living apart since 2017. The court noted that the respondent-wife, during cross-examination, admitted to a male friend visiting her home in the husband’s absence, supporting the husband’s allegations of adultery and cruelty.
“The appellant-husband’s testimony and the evidence presented clearly indicate that the respondent-wife committed adulterous acts, amounting to cruelty. This justifies the granting of a decree for dissolution of marriage under Section 13(1)(i-a) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.”
Additionally, the court observed that the couple had been living separately for over six years, signifying an irretrievable breakdown of their marriage. Referring to the Supreme Court’s ruling in K. Srinivasa Rao vs. D.A. Deepa, the High Court emphasized that prolonged separation can lead to mental cruelty, necessitating the severance of matrimonial ties.

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