HP HC | The findings in a proceeding under S. 125 CrPC cannot be binding on matrimonial Court while dealing with an application for divorce on the ground of res judicata

Himachal Pradesh High Court

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Tarlok Singh Chauhan, J. remarked “there has been no matrimonial relationship between the parties for the last nearly two decades, which in itself establishes that the parties are not in a position to live together any longer.”

The brief facts of the case are that the marriage of the appellant and respondent was solemnised in 1983 according to Hindu rites and ceremonies. However, on account of matrimonial discord, appellant filed a petition for divorce in the year 1985-86 which, however, was ultimately compromised.  Thereafter, the parties resided peacefully and out of wedlock two sons were born. But allegedly even after those differences continued which even took the shape of occasional violence. Both even accused each other of adultery. The Trial Court passed a decree of dissolution of marriage in favour of the husband. Aggrieved by the decree of divorce passed by the Trial Court below, the appellant – wife has filed the instant appeal.

Counsel for petitioner Suneet Goel submitted that the Trial Court erred in coming to the conclusion that the wife is living in adultery, which contention had already been negated by the Court while adjudicating the petition filed by the wife for maintenance under Section 125 CrPC.

Counsel for respondents Varinder Thakur submitted that as regards the findings recorded by Trial Court under Section 125 CrPC. the same were not binding on the matrimonial Court in the matrimonial disputes and secondly, there is ample amount of evidence available on record, which shows that wife was living in adultery

The Court relied on judgment Pranab Kumar Karmakar v. Aarti Karmakar, 2008 SCC OnLine Cal 833  and observed that the findings in a proceeding under Section 125 Cr.P.C. cannot be binding on matrimonial Court while dealing with an application for divorce on the ground of res judicata. A matrimonial Court is required to arrive at an independent finding based on a material laced before it.

The Court further observed in light of the pleadings, evidence and subsequent events, that there has been no matrimonial relationship between the parties for the last nearly two decades, which in itself establishes that the parties are not in a position to live together any longer. Moreover, each of the parties is already residing with a partner of opposite sex as husband and wife. Their relations are so strained that there is no possibility of reconciliation and the marriage between them has broke down irretrievably.

Thus, It would be unrealistic for law to not take notice of the fact that the irretrievable broke down of marriage must be considered as a ground for divorce.

The Court held “I find no merit in this appeal and the same is accordingly dismissed, leaving the parties to bear their own costs.” [Sunita Devi v. Suresh Kumar, 2022 SCC OnLine HP 1968, decided on 03-03-2022]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief

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