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Court also reiterated that lodging a false complaint against the husband and his family members is an act of cruelty for the purpose of Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
The Delhi High Court recently ruled that insistence by the wife to live separately from husband’s family amounts to cruelty. An acrimonious atmosphere at home cannot be a conducive environment for parties to forge a cordial conjugal relationship and is bound to be a source of mental cruelty, the court said.
A Division Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna, while allowing the appeal said, “In the present case as well the respondent has not been able to show any justifiable reason for her insistence to have separate residence, however, this is brought forth from an out-of-court settlement which the parties have entered into to live separately but thereafter, she went back to live in the matrimonial home with other family members. The only inference that can be drawn is that her insistence to live separately from the other family members was whimsical and had no justifiable reason. Such persistent insistence can only be termed as an act of cruelty”
Being aggrieved by the dismissal of his divorce petition, vide order dated 18.08.2017, the appellant preferred the present appeal.
Before the Family Court, the husband claimed that he was deserted by the respondent/wife and she also insisted not to cohabit with her in-laws, to which the husband did not agree.
The wife contended that she was subjected to extreme torture by appellant and his family members since the day of marriage, as a result of which she decided to move out and reside separately. In fact, one such incident occurred on 20.07.2007 when she was medically examined, and both the appellant and his father were arrested under Ss. 107/151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for insulting and beating her.
It was observed by the Court below that the testimony of the appellant did not reveal any act of the respondent that could be termed as physical or mental cruelty and the incidents alleged reflected only normal wear and tear of day-to-day life.
While allowing the appeal, Court also reiterated that lodging a false complaint against the husband and his family members is an act of cruelty for the purpose of Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
“In normal circumstances, the wife is expected to be a part of the family of the husband after her marriage. She becomes integral to and forms part of the family and husband and normally without any justifiable strong reason, she should never insist that her husband should get separated from the family and live with her separately”, the Top Court in Narendra v. K. Meena, (2016) 9 SCC 455 held, which was relied by the Court in the present case.
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