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Arvind Kumar Prasad vs Geeta Prasad on 15 March, 2017

          IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT PATNA

                    Miscellaneous Appeal No.360 of 2015

===========================================================

Arvind Kumar Prasad, son of Sri Rajendra Prasad at present residing at A-71,
Gurudwara Road, Mohan Garden, P.S. Uttam Nagar, New Delhi.

…. …. Appellant
Versus
Geeta Prasad Wife of Arvind Kumar Prasad, Daughter of Sri Maheshwar Das,
residing at M.I.G. Flat No 287, Lohiya Nagar, P.S. – Kankarbagh, District- Patna.

…. …. Respondent
===========================================================
Appearance :

For the Appellant : Mr. Sunil Srivastava, Advocate
For the Respondent : Mr. Prafull Chandra Jha, Advocate
Mr. Sameer Ranjan, Advocate
===========================================================
CORAM: HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE NAVANITI PRASAD SINGH
And
HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE VIKASH JAIN
CAV JUDGMENT
(Per: HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE VIKASH JAIN)

Date: 15.03.2017

The present miscellaneous appeal has been filed against

the judgment and decree dated 18.08.2015 passed by the learned

Additional Principal Judge, Family Court, Patna in Matrimonial Case

No. 559 of 2007, inter alia, dismissing the prayer for dissolution of

marriage by decree of divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage

Act, 1955 (for short, “the Act”).

2. The short facts of the case are that the appellant was

married to the respondent on 15.05.1997 at Latehar, Jharkhand as per

Hindu rites and customs, after which the appellant returned to Delhi

and the respondent stayed at her parental home at Patna. After about

two years of marriage, Gauna (second marriage) was performed in the
Patna High Court MA No.360 of 2015 dt.15-03-2017

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month of November, 1999 and the respondent came to reside with the

appellant at Delhi.

3. According to the appellant, from the very beginning

the respondent did not allow the appellant to even touch her and

further threatened that she would run out of the house in order to

insult the appellant. As such there had been no physical relationship

nor consummation of marriage between the parties since their

marriage was solemnized. There had been a complete suppression

about the respondent’s mental status and attitude by the respondent

and her parents and thus they committed fraud with him. Despite the

appellant trying to pacify her, the respondent’s behaviour did not

change resulting in considerable mental cruelty and torture to the

appellant and his family members. The respondent further threatened

to implicate the appellant and his family members in false cases if the

husband’s unwanted approaches continued. She stated that she did

not like him as the appellant was of dark complexion, used to stammer

and was still unemployed. Being the daughter of a Deputy

Superintendent of Police in Bihar Police, she claimed to be living a

luxurious life before the marriage but had been married to a Kangal

(pauper). She claimed to have affinity for a boy named Pinku and

declared herself as widow, having washed off her vermilion and

broken her bangles. On one occasion, upon being scolded by her

father, she jumped from the second floor of her parental house and
Patna High Court MA No.360 of 2015 dt.15-03-2017

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suffered fracture of her leg.

4. The respondent, on the other hand, denied all the

allegations. The appellant was unemployed until the time Gauna was

performed and the respondent went to live with him in Delhi.

Subsequently in the year 2000, he joined as Probationary Officer with

Dena Bank and thereafter the appellant and his family members

began to torture her with demand for dowry. Feeling apprehension

from the appellant and his family members, the respondent’s father

moved Bihar Rajya Mahila Aayog, Patna and Case No. 580 of 2005 was

registered and summons issued. A compromise was arrived at before

the Enquiry Officer on 10.11.2005 by which the parties agreed to live

together. The respondent later instituted Kadam Kuan P.S. Case No.

139 of 2006 against the appellant and his family members, alleging

offences under Sections 498A/34 the Indian Penal Code, Sections 3/4

of the Dowry Prohibition Act and Sections 4/5 of the Dain Act at

Kadam Kuan (Kankerbagh) Police Station, Patna, in which the

appellant was convicted under Section 498A IPC and awarded

rigorous imprisonment for three years and fine of Rs.10,000/- and in

default of payment of fine, to undergo imprisonment for six months.

The other accused persons, however, were acquitted of the charges.

The appellant filed Criminal Appeal No. 112 of 2012 against his

conviction which was allowed, while Criminal Appeal No. 125 of 2012

filed by the respondent against the judgment of acquittal of the other
Patna High Court MA No.360 of 2015 dt.15-03-2017

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accused persons was dismissed. Criminal Revision No. 381 of 2015

was then filed by the respondent against the judgment passed in both

the Criminal Appeals. A petition under Section 9 of the Act was also

filed by the respondent for restitution of conjugal rights which was

registered as Matrimonial Case No. 129 of 2006 on grounds of

desertion. The appellant, however, responded that it was not possible

to live with the respondent and prayed for rejection of the restitution

petition of the respondent. The Divorce Case in Matrimonial Case No.

559 of 2007 as well as the restitution petition in Matrimonial Case No.

129 of 2006 were disposed of together by a common order by which

the divorce case of the appellant was dismissed and the restitution

petition of the respondent was allowed.

5. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and

have considered the materials on record. It is not in dispute that the

parties were married in 1997 at Latehar, Jharkhand and Gauna was

performed in November, 1999. The assertion of the appellant that

there had been no cohabitation between the parties from the very

beginning has not been controverted in the reply filed on behalf of the

respondent. Thus there has been no consummation of marriage at all.

So also the various allegations with regard to erratic, cruel and

torturous behaviour of the respondent, as alleged by the appellant,

have not been controverted, rather, counter allegations have been

made by the respondent. It is apparent from the undisputed facts that
Patna High Court MA No.360 of 2015 dt.15-03-2017

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though marriage was solemnized between the parties two decades

ago, they have never lived harmoniously as husband and wife.

Litigations have been going on for more than a decade. In such a

situation, there can hardly be said to have existed a marriage worth its

name. Apart from the complaint made before the Bihar Rajya Mahila

Aayog, Patna, the respondent went one step further by instituting a

case under Section 498A/34 of the IPC in which ultimately all the

accused persons, except the husband, were acquitted of the charges

and the husband’s conviction was later set aside in appeal. This clearly

amounts to cruelty and torture by the respondent upon the husband

and her family members. This Court fails to understand what the

respondent expects to gain from a decree of restitution with all the

acrimony and animosity generated between the parties through

multifold litigations, which have dragged on through the years. It is

also not clear why the respondent is pursuing her Revision

applications opposing the acquittal of the appellant and his family

members on the one hand, while simultaneously seeking restitution of

conjugal rights on the other. Why she opposes divorce is not

understood.

6. From the evidence of various witnesses such as

D.W. 1 Dharmendra Kumar, D.W. 2 Maheshwar Das as well as D.W. 3

Geeta Prasad (respondent), it transpires that the appellant has since

married another lady, namely, Jyoti Kumari, and a son, Vihan, has
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been born out of that wedlock. It further transpires from the cross-

examination of the appellant that an allegation was also made against

him to the effect that he had inclination towards his Bhabhi (elder

sister-in-law) Sushama Prasad and that he had illicit relation with her

prior to marriage, all of which was denied by him. So also he denied

the suggestion that he had been seen leaving his Bhabhi’s room at

night or that he assaulted the respondent when she raised objection in

that regard. Such unsubstantiated scandalous allegation by the

respondent clearly amounted to cruelty. Similarly, the suggestion that

the appellant’s mother had performed second marriage with the

appellant’s father and, that too, without having been granted divorce

from her first husband implying thereby that the appellant was an

illegitimate son, has been denied by the appellant and such

unsubstantiated scandalous allegations on the part of the respondent

would undeniably constitute an act of torture and mental cruelty

inflicted upon the appellant.

7. This Court is, therefore, of the view that it was the

respondent who has inflicted cruelty upon the appellant and the

learned trial court has erred in holding otherwise. The judgment and

decree dated 18.08.2015, passed by the learned Additional Principal

Judge, Family Court, Patna in Matrimonial Case No. 559 of 2007, is

accordingly set aside and the appeal stands allowed. Let decree of

divorce accordingly be issued. Consequently, the application for
Patna High Court MA No.360 of 2015 dt.15-03-2017

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restitution of conjugal rights becomes infructuous and the application

stands dismissed as such.

No order as to costs.

(Vikash Jain, J)

Navaniti Prasad Singh, J I agree

(Navaniti Prasad Singh, J)
B.T/-

AFR/NAFR       AFR
CAV DATE       09.02.2017
Uploading      15.03.2017
Date
Transmission   N.A.
Date
 

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