Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court: In a matter of matrimonial discord, Mangesh S. Patil, J., expressed that, when admittedly, for whatever reason, there was a marital discord and the wife had started residing with the infant child at her parental house barely within three years of her marriage, it cannot be expected of her not to prosecute whatever rights and remedies she has under the law.

Husband has preferred the second appeal who had filed a petition for divorce under Sections 13 (1) (i-a) and 13 (1) (i-b) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The wife sought enhancement of maintenance in another second appeal.

Factual Background

It was stated that the wife never cohabited with the husband peacefully. The wife later started insulting his relations and never used to discharge the daily chores and started going to the parental home clandestinely.

The wife filed various proceedings against the husband and his relatives, after which the husband filed a proceeding for restitution of conjugal rights, but she opposed it and the same was dismissed. She even caused him to be arrested in a maintenance proceeding and after which he prayed for the dissolution of marriage on the ground of cruelty and desertion.

Trial Court decided that the wife had subjected him to cruelty and even deserted him without sufficient cause, hence dissolved the marriage. In fact, the proceeding of enhancement of maintenance was dismissed to the extent of the wife.

Aggrieved with the above, appeals were before the District Court, wherein the Court disagreed with Trial Court’s decision. Though the District Court granted some enhanced maintenance to the daughter but confirmed the trial Court’s decision with regard to refusing maintenance to the wife.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court noted that except for the highly interested testimonies of the husband and his brother there was no corroboration about any behaviour of the wife while she was cohabiting with them in the matrimonial home much less to demonstrate that she had treated the husband and his relations with cruelty.

Though the Bench observed that,

“…no strict proof of all these facts and circumstances can be insisted for since it is a matrimonial dispute happening in the four walls of the matrimonial home.”

High Court added to the above analysis that,

Filing of a maintenance proceeding, a criminal case for harassment cannot per se be said to be sufficient to jump to a conclusion that by filing such proceedings she was intending to harass the husband and his relations.

Elaborating further, the Bench also stated that merely because the complaint filed by the wife was dismissed, no inference is deducible of it being false and fictitious.

In spite of allowing all the applications for production of additional evidence under Order XLI Rule 27 the husband has been unable to demonstrate and justify the ground of cruelty, a conclusion drawn by the trial court which apparently was not founded on sufficient and cogent evidence.

Lastly, the Bench held that the decision of the trial court and the lower appellate court refusing to enhance maintenance to the wife are quashed and set aside. That suit be remanded to the trial court for decision afresh to the extent of the wife.[Vasant Punju Chavan v. Sarala Vasant Chavan, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 804, decided on 13-4-2022]

Advocates before the Court:

Advocate for Appellant : Mr. Chandrakant P. Patil h/f. Mr. Paresh B. Patil

Advocate for Respondent: Mr. Girish S. Rane

Must Watch

maintenance to second wife

bail in false pretext of marriage

right to procreate of convict

Criminology, Penology and Victimology book release

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.