Smt Lajwanti vs Geetam Singh on 14 September, 2017

IN THE HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
AT NAINITAL

First Appeal No. 113 of 2014

Smt. Lajwanti ……Appellant

Versus

Sri Geetam Singh …… Respondent.
With

Appeal Against Order No. 555 of 2014

Smt. Lajwanti and another ……Appellants

Versus

Sri Geetam Singh …… Respondent.

Present:
Mr. Neeraj Garg, Advocate for the appellants.
Mr. L.K. Tiwari, Advocate for the respondent.

Reserved Judgment
JUDGMENT

Coram: Hon’ble Rajiv Sharma, J.

Hon’ble Sharad Kumar Sharma, J.

Dated: 14th September, 2017

Per Hon’ble Sharad Kumar Sharma, J.

These are two appeals, both preferred by the wife. The
First Appeal No. 113 of 2014 is a regular appeal under
Section 19 of the Hindu Marriage Act, where she challenges
the decree of divorce granted under
Section 13 of the Hindu
Marriage Act in favour of the husband, whereas, in the other
connected A.O. No. 555 of 2014, the wife challenges the
judgment dated 13th October, 2014, by virtue of which, an
order has been passed on her application, paper No. 70-A,
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filed by the defendant appellant, for seeking a permanent
alimony under
Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, which
she has filed in the main Suit under
Section 13, being
Original Suit No. 325 of 2007, by husband for dissolving the
marriage. Her application for grant of alimony under
Section 25 has been rejected.

Since both the cases are covered by a common
judgment passed by the Trial Court, based almost on same
facts and between the same parties, the Appellate Court,
too, with the consent of counsel, is proceeding to decide the
appeals by a common judgment.

Before venturing into the propriety of the judgment
and its intricacies, this Court feels that when in a
proceedings under
Section 13, initiated by the husband, wife
comes forward and filed an application under
Section 25 for
granting of a permanent alimony. It tacitly implies that she
accepts the propriety and necessity for dissolving the
marriage because both proceedings cannot be carried
simultaneously. If the marriage to be saved, then the wife
ought not to claim an alimony under
Section 25 and if it just
contrary, if wife claims
Section 25, she ought not to oppose
the decree of divorce.

Posed with this question, the learned counsel for the
appellant submits that destiny of the Appeal from Order
would be dependent upon destiny of the First Appeal,
arising out of the Original Suit under
Section 13 of the Hindu
Marriage Act.

Brief facts, on which, the parties are in loggerheads
with one another, the prime issue and which is one of the
factors contemplated under
Section 13 of the Hindu
Marriage Act, permitting the dissolution of the marriage, i.e.
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an adulterous relationship during the subsistence of the
marriage. The other aspect which has been dealt under
Section 13 for dissolving the marriage, is cruelty, desertion
etc. which are all independent to one another and we are of
the considered view that when a party to a marriage, seeks a
dissolution, it has to bring it within the framework of either
of the conditions for dissolving the marriage or for each of
the conditions provided under
Section 13 of the Hindu
Marriage Act, as each conditions for dissolution of marriage
has altogether a separate set of evidence and separate
aptitude of its interpretation, its gravity of analytical study
changes, meaning thereby, all the grounds contemplated
under
Section 13, cannot be decided on the basis of an
appreciation of a common evidence and on the basis of a
common pleading as each.

This Court would be addressing on the aforesaid issues
at a later stage of the judgment.

The facts of the case are that the respondent husband,
who is plaintiff in Suit No. 325 of 2007, had sought the
dissolution of marriage, which was soleminised between
them on 15th February, 2002, at Langha, Police Station
Sahaspur, District Dehradun, on the ground of cruelty. The
ground as attributed by the husband in the pleadings was
that she used to duress upon the husband to leave his home
at Dehradun and often pressed upon him to come to
Kalagarh and to live with the in-laws as Ghar Jawai. On a
refusal being made by the husband to stay at Kalagarh, the
husband case was that he was threatened by the appellant
and his sister and other relatives of dire consequences.
Husband submitted that the atrocities of the wife has
reached to such an extent that she had stooped so low and
4

that they alongwith two or three persons visited the home of
the appellant on 2nd April, 2006, and they had criminally
assaulted him and his mother. The respondent had
immediately is said to have lodged a complaint before the
S.D.M. informing him about the incident of 2nd April, 2006,
and simultaneously, he has also lodged a complaint before
the Incharge Mahila Cell, S.S.P. and D.I.G. This attributed to
cruelty, where there was uncalled harassment and uncalled
physical assault.

It was the case of the husband also that on 26th August,
2005, at about 9:00 a.m., the wife after collecting all her
valuable and stridhan, had left the matrimonial home and
since then, she is residing at Dehradun. It shows that there
was one of other element of dissolution of marriage as
provided under
Section 13, i.e. desertion.

As per the pleadings between the parties, the husband
has come out with the case that the appellant wife is a lady
with a doubtful character and there is doubt about her
chastity, because the husband submitted that he has come to
know that she is having an illicit physical relationship with
one Mr. Mangat Sharma, resident of Bhagwanpur, Dehradun
and he submitted that they have physical relationship. It
was further submitted that the aforesaid fact is also
established from the facts that the wife of Mangat Sharma,
i.e. Smt. Rani, has also lodged a complaint before the S.S.P.,
Dehradun, making a complaint with regard to the illicit
relationship of Mangat Sharma with the appellant. This
pleading draws the proceedings of the appeal to another
ground for dissolution of marriage contemplated under
Section 13 of the Act, i.e. adultery.

5

The husband’s contention on overall scrutiny of the
allegation was that looking to the circumstances and the
gravity of relationship which they were having the
matrimony between them has utterly collapsed and there
was no chance of its revival and thus he prayed for that
living with wife as husband has become irretrievable
because there is apparent apprehension of life, security and
of peace, and hence, he sought a decree for dissolution of
marriage.

In response to it, the wife filed her written statement,
paper No. 30-A, wherein, only admitting the part of the
pleading pertaining to marriage. She denied rest of the
allegations pertaining to the incident of 2nd April, 2006,
pertaining to the duress exercised by her asking the husband
to live at Kalagarh, she denied that she used to quarrel and
create disturbance in the family or had ever threatened the
husband in any manner whatsoever.

With regard to the complaint, she submitted that the
complaint submitted by the husband before the various
authorities were not having any truth and hence, he was
made to understand to enter into a settlement so that the
dispute may be resolved. She submitted that after entering
into the said understanding, as against the lodging of
complaint by the wife to the various authorities, to the effect
not to percolate the same, she submitted that the husband
started lodging frivolous complaints against the wife after
the said understanding. She denied the factum of having
deserted the husband on 26th August, 2005.

She vaguely denied the relationship between Mangat
Sharma and her. She submitted in clarification in defence to
justify her relationship that Mangat Sharma, happens to be a
6

distant relative, though, she admitted the fact that she knows
Mangat Sharma quite closely. It was due to this affinity of
family that often both the families visited one another’s
place, though, she denied that Mrs. Rani W/o Mangat
Sharma has lodged a complaint before the S.S.P. but it was
not proved.

She submitted that the manner, in which, the husband
is taking the proceedings by placing false documents on
record and, even so much so, some of the photographs,
which he has placed reliance, showing an intimate posture
between Mangat Sharma and the appellant, they are all false,
as those photographs were taken when they had gone to
attend the marriage ceremony of their niece.

Despite of the aforesaid circumstances and the gravity
of the misunderstanding in the relationship, a daughter, Km.
Tanu was born on 30th September, 2004. She submitted that
when on learning about the birth of daughter, the family
members of the wife visited the husband’s place but they
were misbehaved by the husband’s family members and
they were not permitted to enter the house.

On the basis of the aforesaid backdrop, she admits the
fact that she has lodged a complaint before the Police Help
Lines against the husband and his family members and,
based on the aforesaid complaint, the Mahila Helpline tried
to make settlement between the parties and they were called
at the Headquarter and, according to the appellant wife, a
compromise was entered into on 5th August, 2005.
According to the wife, she, thereafter, started residing with
the daughter at the husband’s place. She submitted that
despite of it, the circumstances prevailing between them did
not subside and the misunderstanding and acrimony
7

between them continued, rather in an aggravated form and it
was creating difficulty in continuing together in life. She
submitted that when she was physically assaulted by the
family members of the husband, she suffered injuries and
she was hospitalized for three days in Doon Hospital and a
complaint was lodged. On the compliant, it is the admitted
case, a Panchayat was held on 15th June, 2006, but a final
settlement could not be arrived at as none of the parties were
agreeing to settle to the terms of compromise dated 15th June,
2006.

While the proceedings were pending, the wife filed an
application under
Section 25, claiming the permanent
alimony of Rs. 25 lacs. The said application, under
Section
25, was opposed by the husband. He submitted that since
looking to the conduct of the wife and the availability of
property with her, she was not entitled for any alimony
under
Section 25, more particularly, when she herself has
failed to discharge her matrimonial obligations. He
submitted that since the circumstances prevailing between
them is of such a gravity, where a dissolution has to follow
automatically, she was not entitled for any maintenance.

On the exchange of the pleadings, the Trial Court
framed the following issues :-

“1. D;k foi{kh }kjk ;kph ds lkFk] tSlk fd ;kfpdk ds fofHkUUk
pj.kksa esa vfHkdfFkr fd;k x;k gS] dwzjrk dk O;ogkj fd;k x;kA

2. D;k ;kph ekaxk x;k vuqrks’k izkIr djus dk vf/kdkjh gSA”

The husband, in support of his evidence, produced
himself as PW1, Pratap Singh as PW2 and Panniram as PW3.
Respondent wife has also produced herself as DW1. There
were various documentary evidences also filed by the
husband showing various proceedings drawn inter se
8

between the parties which showed that there was no
possibility of revival of the relationship as, none of them, had
ever expressed their desire to pacify the controversy and to
discharge their matrimonial obligations.

The learned Trial Court, while dealing with issue No.
1, had almost clubbed together all the grounds of dissolution
under
Section 13 and had decided the same, holding thereof,
that the plaintiff has been able to establish that there had
chanced cruelty. The Court held that looking to the evidence
which has been adduced by the parties, both oral and
documentary, has recorded a finding, while considering the
impact of Case No. 122 of 2007, under
Section 125 of the
Cr.P.C., wherein, the appellant has submitted that she knows
Rani W/O of Mangat Sharma. She admits that she used to
meet Mangat Sharma but had not met him for a considerable
long time. She admits the letter of Rani, paper No. 9C,
wherein, she has asserted that Rani’s husband Mangat
Sharma is having illicit relationship with her husband and it
is due to this reason, Mangat Sharma had at times
misbehaved and even beaten the complainant Rani. In a
letter, she submitted that it is due to this relationship of
appellant with Mangat Sharma had created such a condition,
where the differences between Rani and Mangat Sharma,
had increased and he may succeed in getting married or
continue with his relationship with the appellant. She
submitted that it was not she who had left the home of the
respondent but rather it is the respondent who has thrown
her out of her matrimonial home. But surprisingly, she
admits that after being thrown out of the home of the
husband “she has taken all her ornaments with her”. While
denying the photograph, paper Nos. 10-A and 11-C, the wife
9

has submitted that these photographs were of hers but they
were clicked in a wrong manner. She admits that one of the
photographs do show that she is in close proximity of
Mangat Sharma.

Once she admits the photograph, she admits the
closeness, the letter of Rani and the statement recorded
under
Section 125 Cr.P.C proceedings, show that it cannot be
ruled out that she was not having in relation with Mangat
Sharma. It is furthermore relevant because the sanctity to
the allegations is attached to the complaint of Rani wife of
Mangat Ram because otherwise there was no motive as to
why Rani would lodge a complaint against her husband.
Similarly, no husband would, too, ever draw the
proceedings before the Court of law by raising an allegation
of illicit relationship with other male against his wife,
because, such an allegation would also simultaneously
tarnish his personal image and the image of his family.
Leveling of an allegation of illicit relationship by husband
against his wife has a wide bearing because it becomes a
moral turpitude where after the happening of the said
incident, it would not be possible for the husband and wife
to live together.

It has also come on record that the appellant used to
move around with Mangat Sharma on his motorcycle as
alleged by his wife in the compliant to the S.S.P. and the
photograph in support thereof which is too humiliating for a
husband and it has resulted into the deteriorating of the
mental condition of the husband, apart from the maligning
his image.

This issue is further supported from the fact that the
appellant has lodged a Case under
Section 498-A I.P.C.

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against the husband which was investigated upon and later
on it was found that the allegation under
Section 498-A I.P.C.
was not proved and a final report has been submitted in
favour of the husband. This fact stands admitted by her
statement recorded before the Court below. Hence, no fault
could be found in the findings recorded by the Family Court,
while deciding issue No. 1.

The Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of K. Srinivas Vs.
K. Sunita reported in (2014) 16 SCC 34, has held in its para 6
that filing of a false criminal complaint, which was filed by
the wife, after filing of the divorce petition and subsequently
when the allegation raised in the criminal proceedings are
not established, this itself, will amount to be cruelty, entitling
a dissolution of marriage. Para 5 of the judgment is quoted
hereunder :-

“5 The Respondent-Wife has admitted in her cross-
examination that she did not mention all the incidents on
which her Complaint is predicated, in her statement
under
Section 161 of the Cr.P.C. It is not her case that she
had actually narrated all these facts to the Investigating
Officer, but that he had neglected to mention them. This, it
seems to us, is clearly indicative of the fact that the criminal
complaint was a contrived afterthought. We affirm the view
of the High Court that the criminal complaint was “ill
advised”. Adding thereto is the factor that the High Court
had been informed of the acquittal of the Appellant-Husband
and members of his family. In these circumstances, the High
Court ought to have concluded that the Respondent-Wife
knowingly and intentionally filed a false complaint,
calculated to embarrass and incarcerate the Appellant and
seven members of his family and that such conduct
unquestionably constitutes cruelty as postulated in
Section
13(1)(i-a) of the
Hindu Marriage Act.”

This Court feels that while deciding issue No. 2, when
the Court was granting a decree of divorce to the respondent
and once it is being admitted between the parties that they
were married, the Court was liable to consider all the aspects
11

and also to consider the intentions of Section 25 of the Hindu
Marriage Act, the Court ought to have granted a reasonable
alimony so that she may support herself in life.

Though there are certain restrictions in awarding the
alimony under
Section 25 of the Act, including the
restrictions of the conduct of the party, but, looking to the
wider interest and to secure the life, this Court feels that
alimony of Rs.10 lacs would be sufficient for maintaining
herself in life.

In view of what has been observed above, the First
Appeal No. 113 of 2014, is dismissed and the decree of
divorce as granted by the Court, vide judgment and decree
dated 13th October, 2014, as passed in Suit No. 325 of 2007,
Geetam Singh Vs. Smt. Lajwanti, is confirmed.

As far as the Appeal from Order No. 555 of 2014,
arising out of the decision rendered on 13th October, 2014,
pertaining to the application under
Section 25, declining to
grant permanent alimony, the appeal is partly succeeds and
alimony is granted to the tune of Rs.10 lacs.

The respondent is directed to remit the amount of
permanent alimony within two months from the date of
judgment, failing which, it would be open for the appellant
to get the decree of alimony executed.

Thus the First Appeal No. 113 of 2014 is dismissed and
Appeal from Order No. 555 of 2014, is partly allowed.

No order as to costs.

(Sharad Kumar Sharma, J.) (Rajiv Sharma, J.)
14.09.2017 14.09.2017
Shiv

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