Forcing a husband to separate from the family is an act of “cruelty” and a ground for divorce, the Supreme Court held on Thursday while allowing a husband’s plea to annul a 24-year wedlock.
A bench of Justice AR Dave and Justice LN Rao also ruled that levelling false allegations against the husband — accusing him of extra-marital affair and repeated threats to commit suicide — is also a ground for divorce.
“The persistent effort of the wife to constrain the appellant (husband) to be separated from the family would be torturous for the husband in our opinion,” the bench held, reversing Karnataka high court’s verdict that declined relief to the husband.
The Supreme Court said the trial court was right in arriving at a conclusion that the wife’s persistency constitutes an act of ‘cruelty’.
“In our opinion, normally, no husband would tolerate this and no son would like to be separated from his old parents and other family members, who are also dependent on his income,” noted the bench.
According to the apex court, no husband would ever be comfortable with or tolerate a wife who constantly threatens to commit suicide. “….one can imagine how a poor husband would get entangled into the clutches of law, which would virtually ruin his sanity, peace of mind, career and probably his entire life.”
The mere idea of facing legal consequences would put a husband under tremendous stress.
A wife, the bench added, is expected to be with the family of the husband after the marriage.
“She becomes integral and forms part of the family of the husband and normally without any justifiable strong reason she would insist to get separated from the family,” the bench said.
If there is an attempt to deviate from the normal practice, the wife must have some justifiable reason, it added. But in the case before the top court, SC said there was no reason except monetary consideration.