Cruelty in Marital Life Explained

IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

Judgment reserved on: 29.04.2011
Judgment delivered on: .07.2011

FAO No. 305/1998

Hemwanti Tripathi ……Appellant Through: Mr. G.S. Vasisht with Ms. Pratibha Shukla, Advs.

Vs.

Harish Narain Tripathi ……Respondent Through: Mr. Pradeep Gupta with Mr. Suresh Bharti, Advs.

CORAM:HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE KAILASH GAMBHIR

1. Whether the Reporters of local papers may be allowed to see the judgment?
2. To be referred to Reporter or not?
3. Whether the judgment should be reported in the Digest?

KAILASH GAMBHIR, J.

1. By this appeal filed under Section 28 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 the appellant wife seeks to challenge the impugned judgment and decree dated 13.7.1998 passed by the learned ADJ whereby the divorce petition filed by the appellant under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act was dismissed.

2. Broad facts based on which the appellant herein invoked the ground of cruelty and filed the petition for divorce are that the marriage between the parties was solemnized according to Hindu rites and ceremonies on 25.6.1980 at village Chamaria, P.O. Kali Jagdishpur, Distt. Basti, U.P. and a daughter Anupam? was born out of the wedlock on 18.7.1982. The case of the appellant is that the parties started living together in Delhi in September, 1981 after “Gauna” ceremony was performed and the marriage was consummated; the respondent changed his behaviour shortly after the birth of the female child as he wanted a son and started blaming the appellant for having given birth to a female child and therefore respondent started harassing the appellant on one pretext or the other and used to hurl filthily abuses/insults on the appellant almost every day and he also started beating the appellant mercilessly very frequently. It is further the case of the appellant that the respondent started beating the daughter as well. The appellant further alleged that the respondent in the presence of the neighbours throws the appellant on streets by pulling her hair, turns out the appellant and the child and thereafter forces them to spend even the nights by sleeping outside the house. It is further alleged by the appellant that the position of the appellant is that of a prisoner confined in the house and that she has been tolerating the atrocities of the respondent in order to keep peace in their family and to save her prestige. The appellant alleged that the respondent stopped caring for the family and has been behaving cruelly and he even tried to strangulate her as a result of which on many occasions she became unconscious. It is further the case of the appellant that the respondent openly threatens her that he will not let her live peacefully, will spoil her figure and will not give anything towards her expenses and that the appellant cannot cause any harm to him. It is alleged by the appellant that the respondent abuses the appellant and the child in filthy language in the presence of his friends and that it has become his daily routine and being fed up with the cruel behaviour of the respondent, the appellant lodged a complaint in police station Shakarpur, Delhi on 1.7.1996. It is further the case of the appellant that the respondent expressed his unwillingness to keep the appellant as his wife any more through the writing dated 7.9.1994 and the appellant started living separately in a rented accommodation along with her daughter and the respondent kept on visiting the appellant claiming that the appellant being his legally wedded wife he has every right to stay with her and the respondent continued indulging in giving beating to the appellant and the daughter. The appellant had given the incident of cruelty dated 21.2.1996 during her stay at E-671, Ganesh Nagar, Shakarupur, Delhi when the respondent visited the house along with his two friends and insisted the appellant to stay with him at F-51/782, Ganesh Nagar, Delhi and on her refusal, the respondent got infuriated and gave her beating and pulled her hair and forced the appellant and the child to go and live with him. The appellant further alleged that on 23.4.1996 the respondent abused the appellant in the presence of his friends and slapped her as a result of which she developed pain in her chest and had high fever but the respondent did not take her to any doctor and rather forced her to entertain his guests and the appellant remained confined to bed for about a week. The appellant further alleged that on 16.5.1996 the respondent again gave beating to her and her daughter and turned them out of his house No. F-51/782, Ganesh Nagar, Delhi but with the intervention of the neighbours he permitted them to enter the house. The appellant further alleged that the respondent again gave merciless beating to her on 24.5.1996, pulled her hair, gave her fist blows and also gave beating to her with sticks and tried to strangulate her as a result of which she became unconscious and again on 1.7.1996 the respondent brought his friends and started abusing and beating the appellant by pulling her hair without any provocation and turned her out, and when the daughter of the parties who was aged about 14 years tried to intervene she was also beaten and turned out of the matrimonial home and the respondent did not return to the said premises thereafter. Thus due to the above enumerated acts, the appellant filed the petition for divorce which vide judgment and decree dated 13.7.98 was dismissed. Feeling aggrieved with the same, the appellant has preferred the present appeal.

3. The respondent on the other hand had taken a preliminary objection that the petition is liable to be dismissed under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC for want of cause of action. The respondent denied each and every allegation of cruelty as leveled by the appellant against him in her petition. The respondent also submitted that the female child was born on 18.7.1982 and the allegation of torture and harassment on the issue that she did not give birth to a male child by the respondent is alleged to have taken place in 1994-95 and 1996 after a gap of more than two years which itself is explanatory to prove the falsity of the allegation. It is also submitted by the respondent that in fact the appellant herself used to visit a „Sadhu? in Hanuman Temple Shakarpur, Delhi and the respondent had objected on her such visits but she disobeyed the respondent and continued visiting the said „Sadhu” even against the desires and objection raised by the respondent on the pretext that she will be blessed with a son. It is submitted by the respondent that the father of the appellant often used to raise hue and cry in the house and used to allege false allegations against the respondent. The respondent has further denied the execution of the writing deed dated 7.9.1994 whereby he allegedly expressed his willingness of not keeping the appellant with him. It is submitted by the respondent that the appellant had leveled all these allegations of cruelty because the respondent had tried to restrain her from visiting the said „Sadhu” and all the allegations of cruelty have been leveled by the appellant with ulterior motives to create circumstances for filing the petition for divorce on the ground of cruelty.

4. Based on the above pleadings of the parties, the learned Trial Court framed the following issues:-

“(i) Whether the respondent had treated the petitioner with cruelty? OPP.

(ii) Relief.”

5. To prove her case, the appellant appeared as her sole witness while the respondent besides examining himself as RW 3 also produced his landlord Mr. Haridwar Yadav as RW2 and Head Constable Om Prakash from P.S. Shakarupur as RW1 who proved DD No. 8A dated 17-18/5/96.

6. Assailing the order of the learned Trial Court, Mr. G.S. Vasisht, learned counsel appearing for the appellant submitted that the respondent started physically beating the appellant almost every day after the birth of female child in the family. Counsel also submitted that the respondent himself had written a hand note dated 7.9.1994 which was duly proved on record as Exhibit PW 1/1 expressing his unwillingness to keep the appellant as his wife. Counsel further submitted that the appellant had given specific dates when she was beaten by the respondent and also proved copy of the report lodged by the appellant with the police station as Exhibit PW 1/2 thereby reporting the incident which took place on 1st July, 1996. Counsel further submitted that the learned Trial Court committed grave illegality in ignoring the scandalous allegations leveled by the respondent in his written statement as well as in his evidence attacking the moral character of the appellant by attributing her relationship with one Sadhu/Pujari. Counsel also submitted that the appellant was forced to live separately after 1.6.1996 and thereafter the respondent never bothered to contact the appellant and nor even have paid any amount of maintenance. Counsel has also argued that the marriage between the parties has turned totally dead and nothing can be gained now by keeping such dead marriage alive just on papers. In support of his arguments counsel for the appellant placed reliance on the following judgments:-

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1. Vijaykumar Ramchandra Bhate vs. Neela Vijay Kumar Bhate (2003) 6 SCC 334
2. Naveen Kohli vs. Neelu Kohli (2006) 4 SCC 558
3. Ashok Kumar vs. Santosh Sharma AIR 1987 Delhi 63
4. Savitri Balchandani vs. Mulchand Balchandani AIR 1987 Delhi 52
5. M.K Malhotra vs. Kirti Malhotra 1987(1) HLR 199
6. Ashok Kumar Arora vs. Smt. Prem Arora 1987(1) HLR 449

7. Opposing the present appeal, Mr. Pradeep Gupta, learned counsel appearing for the respondent supported the impugned judgment dated 13.7.1998 passed by the learned Trial Court. Counsel submitted that the learned Trial Court has given valid reasons for dismissing the petition filed by the appellant and there is no illegality or perversity in the said judgment passed by the Trial Court. Counsel also submitted that the appellant had already condoned the alleged acts of cruelty by continuing to stay with the respondent and, therefore, the learned Trial Court had rightly declined the relief to the appellant.

8. I have heard learned counsel for the parties at considerable length.

9. The expression „cruelty? has not been defined in the Hindu Marriage Act and rightly so as it is not possible to put down the concept in a strait jacket formula, but since the ground of cruelty as envisaged under Section 13 (1) (ia) of the said Act has been the subject matter of discussion before various High Courts and the Hon?ble Supreme Court, therefore, the concept of cruelty has received interpretation in somewhat broad terms. In the celebrated judgment of Dr. N.G. Dastane vs Mrs. S. Dastane AIR 1975 SC 1534 the Hon?ble Supreme Court observed that normally the burden to prove the allegations of cruelty leveled by the petitioner lies on him/her and that the standard of proof required in a matrimonial petition under the Act is not to establish the charge of cruelty beyond reasonable doubt but merely by weighing the various probabilities to find out whether the preponderance is in favour of the existence of the facts alleged. It has also been pointed out that unlike the requirement under English law which must be of such a character as to cause danger to life, limb or health so as to give rise to a reasonable apprehension of such a danger, the court under the Act in question has to only see whether the petitioner proved that the respondent has treated the petitioner with such cruelty as to cause a reasonable apprehension in mind that it will be harmful or injurious to live together, keeping into consideration the resultant possibilities of harm or injury to health, reputation, the working career or the like.

10. In a subsequent judgment of V. Bhagat vs. D. Bhagat AIR 1994 SC 710 the Hon?ble Supreme Court observed that mental cruelty in Section 13(1)(ia) can broadly be defined as that conduct which inflicts upon the other party such mental pain and suffering as would make it not possible for that party to live with the other and the parties cannot reasonably also be expected to live together or that the wronged party cannot reasonably be asked to put up with such conduct and continue to live with the other party. It was also considered to be not necessary to prove that the mental cruelty is such as to cause injury to the health of the wronged party. In another landmark judgment of Naveen Kohli vs. Neelu Kohli AIR 2006 SC 1675 the Hon?ble Supreme Court held that the conduct complained of should be „grave and weighty? so as to come to the conclusion that the petitioner spouse cannot be reasonably expected to live with the other spouse. It must be something more serious than ordinary wear and tear of married life , the Hon?ble Supreme Court viewed. The relevant paras of the said judgment are reproduced as under:-

“56. To constitute cruelty, the conduct complained of should be “grave and weighty” so as to come to the conclusion that the petitioner spouse cannot be reasonably expected to live with the other spouse. It must be something more serious than “ordinary wear and tear of married life”. The conduct taking into consideration the circumstances and background has to be examined to reach the conclusion whether the conduct complained of amounts to cruelty in the matrimonial law. Conduct has to be considered, as noted above, in the background of several factors such as social status of parties, their education, physical and mental conditions, customs and traditions. It is difficult to lay down a precise definition or to give exhaustive description of the circumstances, which would constitute cruelty. It must be of the type as to satisfy the conscience of the Court that the relationship between the parties had deteriorated to such extent due to the conduct of the other spouse that it would be impossible for them to live together without mental agony, torture or distress, to entitle the complaining spouse to secure divorce. Physical violence is not absolutely essential to constitute cruelty and a consistent course of conduct inflicting immeasurable mental agony and torture may well constitute cruelty within the meaning of Section 10 of the Act. Mental cruelty may consist of verbal abuses and insults by using filthy and abusive language leading to constant disturbance of mental peace of the other party.

57. The Court dealing with the petition for divorce on the ground of cruelty has to bear in mind that the problems before it are those of human beings and the psychological changes in a spouse’s conduct have to be borne in mind before disposing of the petition for divorce. However, insignificant or trifling, such conduct may cause pain in the mind of another. But before the conduct can be called cruelty, it must touch a certain pitch of severity. It is for the Court to weigh the gravity. It has to be seen whether the conduct was such that no reasonable person would tolerate it. It has to be considered whether the complainant should be called upon to endure as a part of normal human life. Every matrimonial conduct, which may cause annoyance to the other, may not amount to cruelty. Mere trivial irritations, quarrels between spouses, which happen in day-to-day married life, may also not amount to cruelty. Cruelty in matrimonial life may be of unfounded variety, which can be subtle or brutal. It may be words, gestures or by mere silence, violent or non-violent.

58. The foundation of a sound marriage is tolerance, adjustment and respecting one another. Tolerance to each other’s fault to a certain bearable extent has to be inherent in every marriage. Petty quibbles, trifling differences should not be exaggerated and magnified to destroy what is said to have been made in heaven. All quarrels must be weighed from that point of view in determining what constitutes cruelty in each particular case and as noted above, always keeping in view the physical and mental conditions of the parties, their character and social status. A too technical and hyper- sensitive approach would be counter-productive to the institution of marriage. The Courts do not have to deal with ideal husbands and ideal wives. It has to deal with particular man and woman before it. The ideal couple or a mere ideal one will probably have no occasion to go to Matrimonial Court.”

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11. In Samar Ghosh vs Jaya Ghosh reported in (2007) 4 SCC 511 the Hon?ble Supreme Court has given a treatise on the subject, examining the amplitude of cruelty in different countries and gauging their judicial trends, the Apex Court also laid down broad parameters which may be relevant in dealing with the case of mental cruelty and the illustrative instances that may constitute mental cruelty as narrated in the said judgment are as under:-

“74. No uniform standard can ever be laid down for guidance, yet we deem it appropriate to enumerate some instances of human behavior which may be relevant in dealing with the cases of ‘mental cruelty’. The instances indicated in the succeeding paragraphs are only illustrative and not exhaustive.
(i) On consideration of complete matrimonial life of the parties, acute mental pain, agony and suffering as would not make possible for the parties to live with each other could come within the broad parameters of mental cruelty.
(ii) On comprehensive appraisal of the entire matrimonial life of the parties, it becomes abundantly clear that situation is such that the wronged party cannot reasonably be asked to put up with such conduct and continue to live with other party.
(iii) Mere coldness or lack of affection cannot amount to cruelty, frequent rudeness of language, petulance of manner, indifference and neglect may reach such a degree that it makes the married life for the other spouse absolutely intolerable.
(iv) Mental cruelty is a state of mind. The feeling of deep anguish, disappointment, frustration in one spouse caused by the conduct of other for a long time may lead to mental cruelty.
(v) A sustained course of abusive and humiliating treatment calculated to torture, discommode or render miserable life of the spouse.
(vi) Sustained unjustifiable conduct and behavior of one spouse actually affecting physical and mental health of the other spouse. The treatment complained of and the resultant danger or apprehension must be very grave, substantial and weighty.
(vii) Sustained reprehensible conduct, studied neglect, indifference or total departure from the normal standard of conjugal kindness causing injury to mental health or deriving sadistic pleasure can also amount to mental cruelty.
(viii) The conduct must be much more than jealousy, selfishness, possessiveness, which causes unhappiness and dissatisfaction and emotional upset may not be a ground for grant of divorce on the ground of mental cruelty.
(ix) Mere trivial irritations, quarrels, normal wear and tear of the married life which happens in day to day life would not be adequate for grant of divorce on the ground of mental cruelty.
(x) The married life should be reviewed as a whole and a few isolated instances over a period of years will not amount to cruelty. The ill-conduct must be persistent for a fairly lengthy period, where the relationship has deteriorated to an extent that because of the acts and behavior of a spouse, the wronged party finds it extremely difficult to live with the other party any longer, may amount to mental cruelty.
(xi) If a husband submits himself for an operation of sterilization without medical reasons and without the consent or knowledge of his wife and similarly if the wife undergoes vasectomy or abortion without medical reason or without the consent or knowledge of her husband, such an act of the spouse may lead to mental cruelty.
(xii) Unilateral decision of refusal to have intercourse for considerable period without there being any physical incapacity or valid reason may amount to mental cruelty.
(xiii) Unilateral decision of either husband or wife after marriage not to have child from the marriage may amount to cruelty.
(xiv) Where there has been a long period of continuous separation, it may fairly be concluded that the matrimonial bond is beyond repair. The marriage becomes a fiction though supported by a legal tie. By refusing to sever that tie, the law in such cases, does not serve the sanctity of marriage; on the contrary, it shows scant regard for the feelings and emotions of the parties. In such like situations, it may lead to mental cruelty.” The above instances not being exhaustive, give an idea that the conduct complained of should be such that it is not possible for the parties to live together anymore. Cruelty can be intentional and unintentional; physical and mental. The conduct complained of in the present case being physical and mental cruelty, the appellant had to establish the allegations so that the Court comes to the conclusion that there is pain and mental agony if the parties continue to live together.

12. In the recent case of Gurbux Singh vs Harminder Kaur AIR 2011 SC 114 the Hon?ble Supreme Court held that the married life should be assessed as a whole and few isolated instances over certain period will not amount to cruelty. The Supreme Court further observed that the ill conduct must be persistent for a fairly lengthy period where the relationship has deteriorated to an extent that because of the acts and behaviour of a spouse, one party finds it extremely difficult to live with the other party no longer may amount to mental cruelty. Relevant para of the said judgment is also referred as under:- “12. The married life should be assessed as a whole and a few isolated instances over certain period will not amount to cruelty. The ill-conduct must be precedent for a fairly lengthy period where the relationship has deteriorated to an extent that because of the acts and behaviour of a spouse, one party finds it extremely difficult to live with the other party no longer may amount to mental cruelty. Making certain statements on the spur of the moment and expressing certain displeasure about the behaviour of elders may not be characterized as cruelty. Mere trivial irritations, quarrels, normal wear and tear of married life which happens in day to day life in all families would not be adequate for grant of divorce on the ground of cruelty. Sustained unjustifiable and reprehensible conduct affecting physical and mental health of the other spouse may lead to mental cruelty.”

Hence, the complained behaviour should be persistent and recurring over a length of time and it should be evident that the relationship between the parties has deteriorated to such an extent that it is not possible for them to live together without suffering and mental pain.

13. Cruelty is the very antithesis of love and affection and what may be a cruelty in one case may not be treated as an act of cruelty in another case. Much depends on the social, economic and educational background of both the parties and also on the level of their tolerance. If observed, one would find ego based fights more amongst educated and urban families and less in poor and illiterate strata of the society whereas in latter category, economical factors may be mainly responsible to cause marital discord. However, irrespective of the social, educational and economic background of parties, none would tolerate an attack on their chastity or moral character. In the facts of the present case, the respondent in his written statement as well as in his evidence has attacked the chastity of the appellant by attributing her relationship with one Sadhu/Pujari. The respondent has gone to the extent of saying that the appellant had been spending the night outside, alleging that the appellant had filed the said divorce petition so that she could freely live with that Sadhu in future. In para 3 of written statement on merits the respondent clearly stated that it was quite surprising that on one hand the petitioner (appellant) has been spending the night outside the house on the other hand she has alleged that she was like a prisoner in the matrimonial home. On merits, the respondent averred that he objected to the appellant visiting that Sadhu, but the petitioner did not mend her ways and continued to visit him and sometimes she remained absent from the matrimonial home in the night even. The respondent has also not disputed his writing on Exhibit PW 1/1 wherein he acknowledged having severed his relationship with the appellant. The respondent has further not disputed the lodging of the complaint by the appellant on 1.7.1996, which was proved on record as Exhibit PW 1/2. The Hon?ble Supreme Court in the case of Vijay Kumar Ramchandra Bhate vs Neela Vijay Kumar Bhate (2003) 6 SCC 334 authoritatively held that allegations against wife of unchastity, indecent familiarity with another person and extramarital relationship made in written statement filed by husband in proceedings under Section 13(1)(ia) Hindu Marriage Act initiated by wife seeking dissolution of marriage, all such allegations forming part of examination-in-chief or by way of cross-examination constituted cruelty. Relevant paras of the said judgment are reproduced as under:-

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“7. The question that requires to be answered first is as to whether the averments, accusations and character assassination of the wife by the appellant husband in the written statement constitutes mental cruelty for sustaining the claim for divorce under Section 13(1)(i-a) of the Act. The position of law in this regard has come to be well settled and declared that leveling disgusting accusations of unchastity and indecent familiarity with a person outside wedlock and allegations of extra marital relationship is a grave assault on the character, honour, reputation, status as well as the health of the wife. Such aspersions of perfidiousness attributed to the wife, viewed in the context of an educated Indian wife and judged by Indian conditions and standards would amount to worst form of insult and cruelty, sufficient by itself to substantiate cruelty in law, warranting the claim of the wife being allowed. That such allegations made in the written statement or suggested in the course of examination and by way of cross- examination satisfy the requirement of law has also come to be firmly laid down by this Court. On going through the relevant portions of such allegations, we find that no exception could be taken to the findings recorded by the Family Court as well as the High Court. We find that they are of such quality, magnitude and consequence as to cause mental pain, agony and suffering amounting to the reformulated concept of cruelty in matrimonial law causing profound and lasting disruption and driving the wife to feel deeply hurt and reasonably apprehend that it would be dangerous for her to live with a husband who was taunting her like that and rendered the maintenance of matrimonial home impossible. ……………..

11. That apart, in our view, even the fact that the application for amendment seeking for deletion of the accusations made in the written statement was ordered and amendments carried out subsequently does not absolve the husband in this case, from being held liable for having treated the wife with cruelty by making earlier such injurious reproaches and statements, due to their impact when made and continued to remain on record. To satisfy the requirement of Clause (i-a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 13 of the Act, it is not as though the cruel treatment for any particular duration or period has been statutorily stipulated to be necessary. As to what constitute the required mental cruelty for purposes of the said provision, in our view, will not depend upon the numerical count of such incidents or only on the continuous course of such conduct, but really go by the intensity, gravity and stigmatic impact of it when meted out even once and the deleterious effect of it on the mental attitude, necessary for maintaining a conducive matrimonial home. If the taunts, complaints and reproaches are of ordinary nature only, the Courts perhaps need consider the further question as to whether their continuance or persistence over a period time render, what normally would, otherwise, not be a so serious an act to be so injurious and painful as to make the spouse charged with them genuinely and reasonable conclude that the maintenance of matrimonial home is not possible any longer. A conscious and deliberate statement leveled with pungency and that to placed on record, through the written statement, cannot so lightly be ignored or brushed aside, to be of no consequence merely because it came to be removed from the record only. The allegations leveled and the incidents enumerated in the case on hand, apart from they being per se cruel in nature, on their own also constitute an admission of the fact that for quite some time past the husband had been persistently indulging in them, unrelated and unmindful of its impact. That the husband in this case has treated the wife with intense cruelty is a fact, which became a fait accompli the day they were made in the written statement. The continued on record at any rate till 5.10.1988 and the indelible impact and scar it initially should have created, cannot be said to have got ipso facto dissolved, with the amendments ordered. Therefore, no exception could be taken to the courts below placing reliance on the said conduct of the appellant, in this regard, to record a finding against him.”

14. In the facts of the present case also despite the fact that the physical beating given by the respondent on many occasions by itself constitutes cruelty, but the scandalous allegations leveled by the respondent attacking the moral character of the appellant or attributing her relationship with some Sadhu certainly amounts to worse form of cruelty in the absence of any corroboration to such allegations. That the ratio of Ashok Kumar vs.Santosh Sharma(supra) and Savitri Balchndani(supra) wherein it was held that a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty can be passed on the strength of false, baseless, scandalous and malicious allegations in the written statement by one party on the other is thus found applicable to the facts of the present case because in the case at hand the husband has not led any evidence in support of his allegations. What surprises this Court the most is that despite the fact that the Trial Court gave the entire findings in favour of the appellant but still passed the judgment against the appellant merely on the ground that the acts alleged by the petitioner against the respondent at best can be termed as wear and tear of daily life and does not amount to cruelty. The learned Trial Court further held against the appellant because she failed to produce any close relative including her uncle who was living in neighbourhood to prove the instance of beatings given by the respondent on various dates. This Court fails to comprehend as to how such a view could be taken by the learned Trial Court as clearly serious and malicious allegations of the appellant having relationship with one Sadhu and her staying out of the house during nights also leveled by the respondent and as per the settled legal position, casting such aspersions on the character of the other spouse has the affect of causing deleterious affect on the mind of such spouse and the same is a worse form of cruelty. It has not been denied by the respondent that no evidence was led by him to prove that the appellant used to go out during night to stay with that Sadhu. The respondent has also not given any reasons in the Ex. PW 1/1 to severe his relationship with the appellant.

15. In the light of the aforesaid discussion, this Court does not find any rationale or justification given by the learned Trial Court in its conclusion to dismiss the divorce petition filed by the appellant. The reasoning given by the learned Trial Court is perverse and illegal on the very face of it and, therefore, the impugned judgment and decree dated 13.7.1998 is accordingly set aside. The appellant thus succeeds in the present appeal and the marriage between the parties is dissolved on the ground of cruelty as envisaged under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act. The decree sheet be drawn up accordingly.

July , 2011
KAILASH GAMBHIR, J

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