Granting divorce to a woman on the ground that her drunkard husband had treated her with cruelty, a Mumbai family court has ruled that the custody of their minor daughter shall remain with the mother permanently.
According to the petitioner-wife, her husband was a habitual drunkard and had wilfully neglected and refused to maintain her and the daughter. He has treated her with utmost cruelty. Hence, she filed a petition for divorce.
She also alleged that her husband had forced her to go away from the matrimonial house at Antop Hill in Wadala here and she was forced to stay with her parents at their house.
The petitioner-wife claimed that she had married the respondent on May 11, 1999, in Mumbai and they were blessed with a daughter who was now aged 14 years and currently staying with her.
She said her husband was living a lavish lifestyle while she was from a conservative family with a simple living. He was addicted to liquor and would come in inebriated condition and quarrel with her and use filthy language resulting in lowering her image and reputation in the locality. Sometimes, neighbours would inform her that the respondent was lying unconscious in the nearby gutter and she would bring him home.
The wife also submitted that her husband had sublet his house to tenants at the cost of their privacy and suddenly deserted them for a prolonged period. He returned all of a sudden and drove her and child out of the house. His acts amounted to cruelty, she pleaded while urging for divorce.
The petitioner further said that she was totally dependent on her parents for her child's education and household expenses. Besides, her husband had sold the gold ornaments, she alleged.
The principal family court judge Dr Laxmi P Rao noted in a recent order, "In my considered view, she is entitled to a decree of divorce on the grounds of cruelty as contemplated under section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. In the paramount interest and welfare of the daughter, the petitioner can be allowed to retain daughter's custody with her."