Twenty years after they were married, the Bombay High Court confirmed the divorce of a couple on grounds of desertion and cruelty by the wife.
The HC ruled that a wife voluntarily leaving the matrimonial house entitles the husband to divorce on grounds of desertion and cruelty. A division bench of Justice A P Deshpande and Justice R P Sondur-Baldota upheld the divorce earlier granted by a family court on a petition by the husband. The wife had challenged the order before the high court, which rejected it on Monday.
The couple married on February 1, 1989. Within five months, the wife returned to her parents’ house and did not come back to her husband. Rajesh, then employed as a diamond cutter and earning Rs 1,400 per month, had told Mona (both names changed) before their marriage that he lived in a small one room-kitchen flat, with his brother, sister-in-law and their three children – and that the newlyweds would have to use the loft in that flat.
Rajesh’s application to the family court says, on their honeymoon, Mona asked him to find separate accommodation for them, saying she did not want to live in the joint family.
Rajesh turned her down, saying he couldn’t afford a new house. On June 7, 1989, Mona asked Rajesh to drop her off at her parents’ house, which Rajesh and his sister-in-law did.
Mona claimed she overheard Rajesh and his sister-in-law conspiring to push her out of the running train. She told her parents. On their arrival, police detained Rajesh and his sister-in-law but let them go the next day.
Earlier, on Mona’s application, the family court had enhanced maintenance to Rs 25,000 per month. On Monday, the HC reduced that sum to Rs 3,800.