Refusal to celebrate Karva Chauth or marriage anniversary by one of the spouses cannot be a ground for seeking divorce, Punjab and Haryana high court has ruled while turning down an appeal filed by a Chandigarh resident.
The husband petitioner had submitted in his appeal that refusal to celebrate the Karva Chauth and marriage anniversary by his wife and her family amounted to mental cruelty and had sought divorce on this ground.
"In our considered view, the family members of the respondent (wife) resisting (even if true) Karva Chauth and couple's marriage anniversary celebrations would amount to normal bickering expected in a matrimonial dispute. On such a flimsy ground, the court cannot grant divorce, snapping the sacred relationship of husband and wife," the high court bench of justices M Jeyapaul and Raj Rahul Garg said.
In this case, the woman had left her husband and was living with her parents for over two years at the time when the petition for divorce was filed in a lower court. When the petitioner invited his wife to join the family on Karva Chauth and couple's marriage anniversary, she allegedly refused. The petitioner husband had stated that his parents had proposed celebrations of Karva Chauth and couple's wedding anniversary at their house. However, the mother of his wife asserted that they did not believe in any of those rituals, customs and functions.
Another ground taken for the divorce in this case by the husband was of desertion by his wife. However, the court ruled that at the time of filing of the petition by him, as per Section 13(1)(i)(b) of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, a ground of divorce on the plea of desertion can be sustained only if the respondent has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.
The couple had an argument over the pregnancy of woman as the husband's family did not want the child at that point of time. Following an argument, the woman left her in-laws' home and started living with her parents. The woman had also leveled allegations of dowry demand against her husband's family members, which resulted in their conviction in the said case. However, despite all this, the woman had filed an application before the court for restoration of conjugal rights. The court turned down the husband's plea stating that despite all this, the wife wanted to join her husband.