Forcing husband to get separated from his parents, calling him coward and unemployed is cruelty: Calcutta High Court

Team SoOLEGAL 10 Apr 2023 2:49pm

Forcing husband to get separated from his parents, calling him coward and unemployed is cruelty: Calcutta High Court

New Delhi: The Calcutta High Court has ruled that a husband can be granted divorce from his wife for subjecting him to mental cruelty if she forces him to be separated from his parents and also labels him a "coward and unemployed."

According to a bench of Justices Soumen Sen and Uday Kumar, it is customary practice for a son in an Indian household to live with his parents even after marriage, and if his wife tries to separate him from his parents, there must be a valid ground for doing so.

The bench observed that “Indian culture nurtures the concept of pious obligation of the son to maintain his parents. If a wife makes an attempt to deviate the son from the normal practice and normal custom of the society, she must have some justifiable reason for that. The wife wanted the husband to get separated from his family. It is not common practice for a son in India to get separated from parents at the instance of the wife."

In the instant case, the court noticed that there were no 'justifiable grounds' for the wife to seek the husband's separation, other than instances of ego clashes over trivial household issues and challenges with meeting financial obligations. It was noticed that the husband had moved out of his parents' home into a rented one solely for the purpose of his tranquil marital life.

"Thus, the desire of appellant to have separate residence with her husband away from in-laws is not based on justifiable reasons; as such it amounts to cruelty. Normally no husband would tolerate such acts of wife and no son would like to be separated from his parents and other family members. The persistent effort of the wife to constrain the husband to be separated from the family would be torturous for the husband" the bench of justices opined.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by a wife contesting a family court ruling in Pashim Midnapur granting divorce to the husband on the grounds of cruelty on May 25, 2009. The couple's marriage had been annulled by the family court on July 2, 2001.

It was the husband's claim that his wife referred to him as a "coward and unemployed" and continued to start fights over little matters in order to separate him from his parents.

The bench highlighted multiple instances of the wife's unpleasant behavior, including her hostile attitude towards the husband and his family.

The bench further noted "She expressed in her personal diary that 'I hate that coward to whom I am going to marry' and that ‘she had no consent to marry to unemployed person like him and was tried to stop this marriage as she wanted to marry elsewhere, even after finalization of this marriage but her parents forcibly married her to petitioner’. It indicates that she was not happy with her marriage as she stated that ‘she wanted to marry elsewhere’. Despite that husband tried his level best to accommodate with her." 

The Court also noted that the wife had falsely filed a complaint against the husband which costed him his government job. Further in the case the bench held that "After hearing about his service, she stated that there will be no compromise and she will not let him join his service. These facts amount to mental cruelty on husband." 

Long separation, mental and physical agony, and the unwillingness of the parties to live together have left no room for repair of their marital link, according to the Court, and in such a case, the marriage has become a fiction despite being backed by a legal tie. So, the panel reasoned in dismissing the wife's petition, denying a divorce decree would be devastating for the parties. 

Tagged: husband  
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  22 Apr 2023 5:48am
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