Court: Punjab And Haryana High Court
Bench: JUSTICE Manmohan Singh Liberhan
Gurjit Singh Sandhu Vs Rupinder Kaur On 19 September 1988
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — Section 13(i)(ia) — Divorce — Ground — Cruelty — Appeal by husband against order of trial Court declining relief of divorce — Wife left matrimonial borne and two minor children — Perusal of material on record — Established—Attempts made by husband by taking Panchayat proved a futile exercise — Whether nagging attitude and total neglect of children by the wife is cruelty for the husband to suffer ? (Yes).
1. This is an appeal against the order and decree of the trial Court declining the relief of divorce to the appellant.
2. The petitioner claimed divorce contending that he was treated by the respondents with cruelty. It was claimed that the petitioner was married on 9-10-1978, and they lived together as husband and wife until 8-4-1982, when the respondent left the matrimonial home for no reasons, she left behind two minor children, aged about 5-1/2 and 4-1/2 years. The petitioner stated the respondent to be a short tempered lady and used to create fuss on small pretext and refused to serve the petitioner. It was further stated that threats were held out to the petitioner and it is not congenial and free from danger for him to live with her. The respondent denied the averments made by the petitioner and contended that she was thrown but of the house as she had failed to bring her share of the property of her father on his death, which enraged the petitioner who, after mal-treating and manhandling her threw her out of the house in three apparels. She offered to live with the petitioner without any condition.
3. With regard to the allegations of mal-treatment the trial Court came to the conclusion that the evidence produced on the record prove that it was only ordinary wear and tear of the matrimonial life. There was nothing on the record to show that the trial-treatment was to the extent that it will not be free from danger for the petitioner to live with her. Resultantly, the divorce was declined.
4. The counsel for the appellant contended that the trial Court has failed to appreciate the evidence in its true prospective. He has taken me through the statement of the petitioner himself as Counsel for the Parties : W. 1 wherein he had stated in general terms that the respondent is of a quarrel-some nature and used to beat the children to harass him. She had left the house leaving the children behind. Attempts made by him by taking the Panchayat proved a futile exercise, Gurkipral Singh (PW2), Amarjit Singh (PW 4) and Jaswant Singh (PW 5) corroborated the statement of the petitioner. Counsel for the appellant further read out to me the statement of the respondent herself as R.W. 1. She had categorically stated that she had never attempted to see her children with the husband though admittedly it was difficult for the petitioner to look after the children. She did not even care to attend the death ceremonies of her father-in-law. Her application for maintenance was dismissed and no attempt was made by her for the custody of the children. She further stated that they cannot live together out of fear and distrust. Mohinder Singh (R.W. 2) stated that the father of the respondent had do landed property. In view of the statement of Mohinder Singh the story that the respondent was thrown out on account of the demand raised by the petitioner for inheriting the share of the property of her father has no leg to stand. Keeping in view the circumstances and family environment as has come on the record, it is difficult for the father alone to bring up the children. The nagging attitude and total neglect of the children by the wife is no less a cruelty for a man to suffer. The appellant is mechanic by profession. He is to do the physical job outside the house. There was nobody to look after the minor children at home. Declining the divorce in these circumstances will amount to adopting a Draconial rule to bring an unjust result. The stand taken by the respondent and the obvious failure of the attempts for reconciliation leads to an inference that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The appellant is suffering at the hands of the respondent. It was the respondent’s duty to give motherly love to the children and bring them up in their infancy. She for reasons best known to her declined to discharge the said duty and inflicted mental agony on the appellant. I find a ring of truth in the statements of the witnesses of the petitioner who attribute nagging to the respondent. Cruelty is nothing but inflicting mental or physical injury to the other spouse in the matrimonial home. It is not something which can be denied in straight jacket. It has to be judged in the facts and circumstances of each case. I am of the considered view that in this case the petitioner has been able to prove that he had been treated by the respondent with cruelty.
5. In view of the above observation of mine, I accept the appeal, set aside the judgment and decree of the Court below and grant a decree of divorce to the appellant. No order as to costs.
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