Punjab and Haryana High Court recently allowed a husband’s plea seeking divorce on the ground of desertion and cruelty meted out to him by his wife. The bench also noted that the wife had filed false and frivolous cases against him and his family.
The bench comprising Justice Ritu Bahri and Justice Nidhi Gupta granted permanent alimony of a sum of ₹18 lakh to the wife as the full and final settlement. The husband had already paid ₹ 23 lacs to the wife as maintenance during litigation.
The bench observed, “Before parting, even though the parties have lived together in a matrimonial home only for nine months, and even though there is no child from their wedlock, and even though during this litigation admittedly the appellant has already paid Rs. 23 lacs to the respondent as maintenance yet, we deem it fit to grant her permanent alimony of a sum of Rs. 18,00,000/- (Rupees eighteen lacs only) as full and final settlement.”
The appellant-husband had filed a petition under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955 before the family court seeking dissolution of his marriage on the grounds of desertion and cruelty. His petition was dismissed by Additional District Judge, Patiala in May 2017. He approached the High Court challenging the family court order.
The petitioner submitted that he got married to the respondent in November 2012 and they cohabited together for over 9 months. There was no child born out of that wedlock.
In the petition, the petitioner alleged that the wife was dominating and disrespectful towards him and his family. She allegedly behaved arrogantly and offensively using bad language.
As per the petitioner, the wife left him in September 2013 without any reasonable cause and took all the dowry articles with her including ones that she had received from the appellant’s parents. Thereafter, she didn’t come back to her matrimonial house and therefore, it was pleaded that she deserted him.
In the plea, the wife had filed innumerable false complaints against him and his family members. She also had filed complaints before Army Wives Welfare Association. The wife denied all the allegations and alleged that the husband used to torture her, made illegal dowry demands, would beat her mercilessly and never paid maintenance to her.
The High Court bench found fault in the family court’s order and noted that the wife had filed the most objectionable allegations against the husband and her in-laws.
“Admittedly, in this case, the respondent has unequivocally admitted in her cross-examination that her complaint against her father-in-law alleging inappropriate behaviour was found to be false by the police, and therefore he was not challaned. However, the learned Court below has not dealt with this aspect at all,” the bench observed.
While noting that the family court had not considered major facts of the case, the bench observed that the wife had actually meted out cruelty to the husband and had deserted him voluntarily.
“In our view, the conduct of the parties in the present case evidences that there are irreconcilable differences between the parties, rendering the marriage, as of today, a mere legal fiction. It is not in dispute that the parties are residing separately since 2013. Even mediation attempts between the parties have remained unsuccessful,” the bench noted.