MP HC | Mental cruelty inflicted by the wife over her husband through her conduct a valid ground for divorce; Court allows appeal

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Division Bench of Sheel Nagu and Anand Pathak, JJ., allowed an appeal which was preferred under Section 19 of the Family Court Act, 1984 against the judgment and decree dated 27-03- 2019 passed by the Link Family Court whereby the application preferred by the appellant/applicant/husband under Section 13(1)(iA) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 had been rejected.

The marriage of the appellant and respondent was solemnized in 2004 according to Hindu Rites and Rituals. The respondent/wife insisted on living separately as a nuclear family and in order to maintain domestic peace, after 6 months of marriage, appellant and respondent started living separately but despite that respondent/wife used to quarrel with appellant and left for her maternal home without any information. She did not take any interest in household work. Out of their wedlock two children born but due to negligence on part of wife, one child died and only one survived. Respondent/wife used to talk on mobile for hours together and used to move with unknown persons during late night in city which led to filing of application under Section 13 of the Act seeking divorce. Respondent/wife did not appear in the trial Court and remained ex parte.

There were several instances of mediation but none of them were of avail. After perusal of the documents and allegations as contained in appeal, divorce application and affidavit, the Court derived that they shared domestic incompatibility and conduct of the respondent wherein she constantly for more than fifteen years or since 2004, caused irritation, threat, intimidation and avoiding cohabitation on the pretext or the other collectively entitled the appellant to get the decree of divorce.

The Court further considered the case of N.G. Dastane v. S. Dastane, (1975) 2 SCC 326 to emphasize on the understanding of mental cruelty. Court further mentioned a number of cases wherein the Supreme Court had enumerated the illustrative instances of human behaviour which may be relevant for dealing with the cases of mental cruelty the most important being Samar Ghosh v. Jaya Ghosh, (2007) 4 SCC 511.

The Court stated that for very long time parties shared domestic dispute and irritability and mental cruelty inflicted by the wife over her husband through her conduct and through her denial of cohabitation. In absence of any cross-examination or rebuttal, allegations of appellant assume importance.

The Court found that the Family Court had erred in rejecting the application for divorce preferred by the appellant whereas divorce decree ought to have been passed in the case. The application under Section 13 of the Act was allowed and it was held that Appellant was entitled to get divorce from his wife, respondent.[Rajesh Bhoyale v. Mahadevi, 2022 SCC OnLine MP 553, decided on 29-03-2022]


Shri T.C. Narwariya, counsel for the appellant.

None for the respondent


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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