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Posted at: Jun 15, 2019, 6:48 AM; last updated: Jun 15, 2019, 10:15 PM (IST)

Wife’s aggression, sad mood no grounds for divorce: HC

Upholds dismissal of divorce petition by lower court, says nuptial knots can’t be broken on unfounded charges
Wife’s aggression, sad mood no grounds for divorce: HC
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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 14

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that a wife could not be said to be vitiating her matrimonial home’s atmosphere through aggressive behaviour and sad mood. The assertion by a Division Bench came in a matrimonial dispute case, where the husband was seeking a divorce after claiming, among other things, that his wife right from the next day of marriage started quarrelling with him and his parents.

The Bench of Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain and Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill asserted there was ordinary wear and tear of married life, which happened in day-to-day existence. “Mere aggressive behaviour and sadness of mood of wife does not mean that the wife is spoiling the atmosphere of her matrimonial home,” the Bench added.

The husband had assailed the judgment and decree dated April 3 passed by Narnaul District Judge, vide which his divorce petition was dismissed. Quoting an apex court judgment, the Bench asserted the concept of cruelty differed from person to person, depending upon his or her upbringing, level of sensitivity, financial position, social status, customs, traditions, religious beliefs, value system, and educational, family and cultural background.

As such, it was essential for the party claiming relief to prove that a particular conduct or behaviour had resulted in cruelty to him or her. The aggrieved party was, rather, required to make a specific case that the conduct of the spouse had caused cruelty to him or her. It was for the court to weigh the gravity of alleged cruelty and it was to be seen whether the conduct was such that a reasonable person would not tolerate.

Referring to the case in hand, the Bench said cogent evidence had not been placed on record to establish that the respondent wife’s behaviour was uncalled for. Pointing at the allegations of adultery, the Bench added that as a matter of fact it could not be considered without making the alleged adulterer a party in accordance with the Rule 10 of Hindu Marriage (Punjab) Rules, 1956. “Rather unsubstantiated and uncorroborated testimony associating the respondent wife with adulterer has caused mental cruelty to her,” the Bench said.

“Nuptial knots could not be allowed to be broken on these types of unfounded allegations of cruelty —- physical or mental”, the Bench asserted.

It also took notice of the fact that the wife had allegedly left matrimonial home in May, 2015, and the petition was filed in February, 2016. As such, the statutory period of two years had not expired on the date of divorce petition’s filing. “Thus, the present divorce petition had rightly been rejected on this count by the court below,” it added while dismissing the appeal.


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