In the Instant Case of Chandra v. Selvaraj, A petition for annulment was filed by the wife under Sections 28 of the Hindu Marriage Act and 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, to overturn the District Judge’s decision to grant the husband’s request for a divorce on the grounds of cruelty and desertion. On September 14, 1987, the appellant and the respondent were married. It was claimed in the divorce petition that the wife was living an adulterous life. The husband submitted a petition for divorce citing cruelty and desertion as grounds. The Trial Court rejected the aforementioned petition. However, the First Appellate Judge has authorised the appeal and given a divorce order after reconsidering the oral and documentary evidence. This current appeal was made by the wife.
Conclusion of the Court
According to Justice R. Vijayakumar of the Madras High Court’s Single Judge Bench, the divorce petition does not include any allegations of mental abuse or desertion. The wife’s legal action was solely brought about to defend her property rights and her entitlement to her son’s care. Such legal action cannot ever be seen as a justification for mental abuse when it is used to defend the woman’s rights. The Court thereupon reinstated the judgement and decree of the Trial Court and set aside the judgement and decree of the First Appellate Court.
The husband and wife were living together at the same residence even on the day the divorce petition was filed, the court concluded. The wife’s departure from the marital residence and her residence for the previous ten years were not documented by the husband. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955’s Explanation to Section 13(1) describes desertion as the abandonment of one spouse by the other without justification, with their permission, or against their wives’ wishes. The woman has lived in the marital house her whole life and is still a resident there, the court said. The husband was said to have left the marital residence and been married again. The ruling of the First Appellate Court was overturned by the court.
The wife’s claim to the property was acknowledged by the court, which determined that the husband’s decree relating to the house property was not contested. The court also decided that submitting a petition to safeguard her custody rights was not seen as mental cruelty. The wife disclosed information on the second marriage, although the court also observed that bigamy-related criminal charges were dropped. The wife’s filing of these lawsuits was not deemed to be acts of mental cruelty, according to the court. In the divorce proceedings, the husband presented a fresh and severe accusation of infidelity against the wife. The First Appellate Court’s conclusion that the wife had repeatedly petitioned him to harass him was rejected by the court as lacking legal support. The First Appellate Court was also criticised by the court for not holding the woman accountable for failing to file an application for the restoration of conjugal rights after the husband failed to support the claim.
CASE NAME – Chandra v. Selvaraj, Civil Miscellaneous Second Appeal No. 15 of 2011