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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Basanta Das vs Shyamali Das on 24 December, 2019

INTHEHIGHCOURTATCALCUTTA
CIVILAPPELLATEJURISDICTION
APPELLATESIDE

Present:
TheHon’bleJusticeSamaptiChatterjee
And
TheHon’bleJusticeManojitMandal

F.A285of2012

SectionBasantaDas

v.

ShyamaliDas

Fortheappellant:Mr.SiddheswarChandra

FortheRespondent:Mr.M.M.Verma

Ms.NilamVerma

Heardon:21.11.2019

Judgmenton:24.12.2019

ManojitMandalJ.

Thisfirstappealisattheinstanceofhusbandinasuitfor

divorceonthegroundofdesertionandisagainstthejudgmentanddecree

dated25thNovember,2009passedbytheAdditionalDistrictJudge,Fast

Track2ndCourt,Suri,BirbhuminMatrimonialSuitNo.71of2003.
2

2.Beingdissatisfied,thehusband/plaintiffhascomeupwiththe

presentappeal.

3.TheappellantbeforeusfiledintheCourtoftheDistrictJudge,

BirbhumatSuri,asuitbeingMatrimonialSuitNo.71of2003thereby

prayingfordivorceundertheprovisionofSection13(1)oftheHindu

MarriageActandthecasemadeoutbytheappellantinthepetitionerfor

divorcemaybesummedupthus:

(a)ThepartiesweremarriedaccordingtoHinduRitesand

Customson6thDecember,1995inthehouseoftheRespondent’sfatherat

MoholunderPoliceStationPandabeswar,District-Birbhum.Thereafter,

partieslivedtogetherinthehouseoftheappellantatVillage-Jogaiunder

PoliceStationMurarai,District-Birbhum.Thesaidmarriagewasduly

consummated.Inthewedlockoftheparties,afemalechildwasborn.

(b)Theappellantisaneducatedunemployedpersonandhewent

toJhangraCollieryforsearchingajobwheretherespondent’sfatherwas

anemployeeofthecollieryandhegaveaproposalofmarriageofher

daughterwiththeappellantandassuredhimthathewillarrangeforjob

fortheappellant.TheappellantthereafterstartedtoliveatBaishaki

colonyatJhangraCollieryandfatheroftherespondenthadopenedafixed

depositpolicybydepositingRs.60,000/-(RupeesSixtyThousand)onlyin

Bankinthejointnamesofthepartiesasthefatheroftherespondent

couldnotreadilymanageanyjobfortheappellant.
3

(c)Theappellanthadnopropertytomeethisfamilyexpenses

andsomehowcollectedsomestudentsandbegantuitionworkand

maintainedtherespondentwithgreatdifficulties.

(d)Respondent’sbehaviortowardstheappellantwasnotgood

andshewasnotobedienttoherhusbandandusedtobehavewithhim

badlyandinallrespectsheusedtoquarrelwiththeappellantandabused

himinfilthylanguages.

(e)Aftermarriagetherespondentdidnotliketostayinherin

lawshouseinaremotevillageandtheappellantwascompelledtocomeat

Jhangrawheretherespondent,herfatherandbrotherbehavedverybadly

withtheappellantandeventhreatenedhimtofinishhislife.

(f)Theappellantwaslastlydrivenoutfromthequartersof

BaisakhicolonyatJhangraCollierybyhisfatherinlawandbrotherinlaw

on22.07.1997andsincethenappellantislivingseparatelyinhisnative

placeandrespondentislivingherfather’shouse.

(g)RespondentfiledaMisc.CaseunderSection125oftheCode

ofCriminalProcedureformaintenanceforherselfandherminordaughter

andanothercriminalcaseunderSection498AwithotherSectionsof

IndianPenalCode.

(h)Appellant,hisparentsandbrothertriedtopersuadeherto

leadahappyconjugallifewiththeappellantbuttherespondentdidnot

returnbackanddesertedtheappellantfromenjoymentofconjugallifefor

thelast5yearsandmorewithoutanyreasonableexcuseandthereisno
4

chanceofreunionoftherespondentwiththeappellantinfuture.Hence

thesuit.

4.Thesuitwascontestedbythewifebyfilingwrittenstatementand

therebydenyingthematerialallegationsmadeintheapplicationfor

divorceandthedefenceoftherespondentmaybesummedupthus:-

(1)Therespondentdeniedthestatementthatrespondent’s

behaviortowardstheappellantwasnotgoodandrespondentwasnot

obedienttotheappellantandusedtobehavewithhimbadlyandinall

respectsheusedtoquarrelwiththeappellantandabusedhiminfilthy

languages.

(2)Itwasdeniedthaton22.07.1997theappellantwasdrivenout

fromtheQuartersatBaishakiColonybyhisfatherinlawandbrotherin

law.

(3)Aftermarriagetherespondentwenttohermatrimonialhome

andlivedashusbandandwifewiththeappellantbuttherespondentwas

subjectedtocrueltyandwasharassedandtorturedphysicallyand

mentallybytheappellantandothermatrimonialrelativesfornon-

paymentoffurtherdemandofdowryofRs.40,000/-(RupeesForty

Thousand).

(4)Inordertofulfilltheirdemandthefatheroftherespondent

depositedRs.10,000/-(RupeesTenThousand)onlyinthejointnamesin

Bank.Beforemarriagetheappellantandhisfamilymembersdemanded

Rs.1,00,000/-(RupeesOneLakh)onlyasdowryfromthefatherofthe
5

respondentandfatheroftherespondentdepositedRs.60,000/-(Rupees

SixtyThousand)onlyinthejointnameofthecoupleintheBank.

(5)Inspiteofthattheappellantandhisfamilymembersdidnot

changetheirbehavior.

(6)Sincethedateofmarriagetheappellanthadnoloveand

affectionatalltotherespondentandappellantdidnotliketherespondent

andusedtohateher.

(7)TheappellantusedtoresideattheQuartersofJhangra

Collierywiththerespondentoutofhisownwillandrespondentnever

createdanypressureupontheappellanttodoso.

(8)Respondentbehavedwellwiththeappellantandshehasalot

ofloveandaffectionfortheappellantandshewantstoliveahappy

conjugallifewithappellant.

(9)RespondentwascompelledtofileacaseunderSection125of

CriminalProcedureCode(hereinafterreferredtoas”SectionCr.P.C.”)for

maintenanceandanothercaseunderSection498AofIndianPenalCode

(hereinafterreferredtoas”SectionI.P.C”)againsttheappellant.Inthesaid

proceedingunderSection125ofCr.P.C.,theappellantisnotpaying

interimmaintenanceregularlytotherespondent.Thesuitwas,therefore,

liabletobedismissed.

5.Atthetimeofhearingofthesuittheappellantexaminedhimselfas

PW1.HealsoexaminedShriJagannathPramanick(PW2)andAshis
6

Chakraborty(PW3)insupportoftheplaintcasewhiletherespondent

examinedherselfasDWNo.I.

6.Asindicatedearlier,thelearnedTrialJudgebythejudgmentand

decreeimpugnedinthisappealwaspleasedtodismissthesuitonthe

groundthattheappellanthadfailedtoprovetheallegationsmadeinthe

petitionfordivorce.

7.Beingdissatisfied,thehusbandhascomewiththepresentappeal.

8.Mr.SiddheswarChandra,thelearnedSeniorAdvocateappearingon

behalfoftheappellant,vehementlycontendedbeforeusthatthelearned

Courtbelowhascommittedwronganderredinlawindismissingthe

plaintiff’ssuit.HefurtherurgedthatleanedTrialCourthasfailedtohold

thatthewife/respondentdesertedhermatrimonialhouseforalongperiod

andthereisnoscopetorestorethemaritallifebetweentheparties.He

furtherurgedthatlearnedTrialJudgeerredinlawaswellasinfactin

holdingthatwifeisstillwillingtoleadconjugallifewiththeappellant

particularlywhenwifewasabsentinthedatesfixedforreconciliation

betweenthehusbandandwifeasfixedbythelearnedTrialJudge.He

furthercontendedthatthelearnedTrialJudgefailedtoconsiderthatthe

appellantwassubjectedtocrueltywhentherespondentinherapplication

underSection125ofCr.P.C.hadpleadedthatherhusbandhadkeptan

illicitrelationwithanotherladyandthatevidenceofthehusbandhavenot

beenconsideredproperly.Insupportofhisargumenthehasreliedupon
7

thedecisionsreportedin94CWN769,AIR2006(All)page7andAIR

2005SC3297.

9.Mr.M.M.Verma,learnedAdvocateappearingonbehalfofthe

respondent,has,ontheotherhand,opposedtheaforesaidcontentionof

Mr.ChandraandhassubmittedthattheleanedTrialJudgeinthefactsof

thepresentcaserightlydisbelievedthehusbandregardingtheallegationof

desertion.Hefurthersubmittedthatthehusband/appellantinhis

depositionhasnowherestatedthattherespondentdroveoutthe

appellantfromtheQuartersofBaishakiatJhangraColliery.Hefurther

submittedthatitisinevidencethatwhiletherespondentalongwithher

jamaibabuwenttothehouseoftheappellant,therespondentwas

assaultedbytheappellant.Mr.Verma,therefore,praysfordismissalof

appeal.

10.Therefore,thequestionthatarisesfordeterminationinthisappealis

whetherthelearnedTrialJudgewasjustifiedindismissingthesuitfor

divorceonthegroundthattheallegationofthehusbandthatthe

respondentdesertedhimhasnotbeenprovedbytheappellantin

accordancewithlaw.

11.Nowcomingtothepointofdesertion,thelawinthisregardmustbe

appreciatedclearly.UnderSection13(1)(ib)oftheHinduMarriageAct

(hereinafterreferredtoas”Act”)anyofthespousesafterthemarriageis

solemnizedundertheprovisionsoftheActmayprayfordissolutionofthe

marriagebydecreeofdivorceontheground,interalia,thattheotherparty

hasdesertedhimorherforacontinuousperiodofnotlessthantwoyears
8

immediatelyprecedingthepresentationofthepetition.Theword

“desertion”hasbeenexplainedinthesaidActasfollows:-

“…………..theexpressiondesertionmeansthedesertionofthe

petitionerbytheotherpartytothemarriagewithoutreasonable

causeandwithoutconsentoragainstthewishofsuchpartyand

includesthewillfulneglectofthepetitionerbytheotherpartytothe

marriage…………”.

OurHighCourthasheldinacase(SectionApurbaMohonGhoshvs.Manashi

Ghosh)reportedinAIR1989(Cal)page115thatdesertionwascomplete,

whoevermighthavegiventheinitialcause,becauseallthethreeelements

thatgenerallygotoconstitute”desertion”,namely,thefactumof

separation,theanimusdeserendi,i.e.theintentiontoliveapartandthe

animusnon-revertendi,i.e.theintentionnottoreverttothematrimonial

homewereproved.

12.Keepingtheaboveprinciplesoflawonthepassingofadecreeof

divorceonthegroundofdesertioninourminditmaynowbeseenhowfar

theTrialCourtisjustifiedindismissingthesuitagainstthe

wife/respondent.Admittedly,thepartiesweremarriedaccordingtoHindu

RitesandCustomson06.12.1995.Itisalsoadmittedthatpresent

appellantandtherespondentarelivingseparatelysincelong.Itisthe

caseofthehusbandinhispetitionunderSection13(1)ofHinduMarriage
9

ActthattheappellantwasdrivenoutfromthequartersofBaishakiColony

atJhangraCollierybyhisfatherinlawandbrotherinlawon22.07.1997

andsincethenappellantislivingseparatelyinhisnativeplaceand

respondentislivinginherfather’shouseandsincethenrespondentnever

camebacktothematrimonialhomeanddesertedtheappellantfrom

enjoymentofconjugallifeforthelast5yearsandmorewithoutany

reasonableexcuse(videParas6and7ofthepetitionunderSection13(1)

ofHinduMarriageAct).FromtheallegationsmadeinPara7thehusband

wantstheCourttopresumeorinferthataftertheappellantwasdrivenout

fromthequarterson22.07.1997hemadeattempttobringherinhis

houseforresumingthematrimonialrelationandthewifedidnotcometo

hishouseandresumematrimonialrelationwithoutanyexcuse.Thisstory

doesnotfindanyplaceintheevidenceonbehalfofthehusbandbeforethe

TrialCourt.PW1BasantaDasisthehusband.Inhisexaminationin

chiefhesaidthaton22.07.1997hewasdrivenoutfromthequartersand

thathisfatherandhisbrotherwenttobringhiswifetohishousebutshe

refusedtocome.Inhiscross-examinationhehasdeposedthathisfather

inlawmadearrangementtostayinthequartersalongwithhiswifeand

daughterandheusedtostaytherewithhisfamilyandhisfatherinlaw

andhisfamilymemberswerenotresidingthere.TheevidenceofPW1

includinghiscross-examinationrevealsthatPW1hasnowherestatedin

hisevidencethathewasdrivenoutfromthequartersbyhiswifeafter

quarrellingwithhimon22.07.1997.So,thereisnoallegationagainstthe

wife/respondent.Thefatherandbrotherofthepetitionerhavenotbeen

examinedinthecasethoughitisallegedthathisfatherandbrothertried
10

tobringhiswifetohishouse.PW2isJagannathPramanickwhoknows

boththepartiesofthissuit.Thiswitnesssaidthatheneverwentinthe

quartersoftheappellantwhereheusedtoresideandheneverwenttothe

father’shouseoftherespondentandsofarheheardfromtheappellant

thathewasdrivenoutfromthequarters.PW1nowherestatedinhis

evidencethathestatedtoPW2aboutthefactofdrivenoutofthe

appellantfromthequarters.Therefore,theevidenceofPW2onthiscount

ishearsaywhichisnotadmissibleaccordingtoSectionIndianEvidenceAct.PW1

didnotexamineanyotherwitnessonthiscount.Thisapart,PW2inhis

depositionhasdeposedthathe,theappellantandhisfatherwenttobring

therespondenttothehouseoftheappellant.Buttheappellanthas

nowherestatedinhisevidencethathewenttobringtherespondenttohis

house.Incross-examinationPW2hasalsoadmittedthatheneverwentto

thequartersand/ortothefather’shouseoftherespondent.Therefore,the

evidenceofPW1andPW2areinconsistentwithandcontradictorytoeach

other.So,theevidenceoftheappellantregardingdesertiondoesnot

inspireconfidence.

13.Now,weshouldlookintoevidenceadducedonbehalfofthewifeas

tothecircumstanceswhichcompelledhertoresideinherfather’shouse.

IthasbeensuggestedtoPW1anddeniedbyhimincross-examination

thatduetotortureinflictedtoherbytheappellantonthegroundofdowry

shewascompelledtofilecriminalcaseandmaintenancecaseagainsther

husband.InPara9ofthewrittenstatementthewifestatedthatafterthe

marriageshewassubjectedtocrueltyandtorturebothphysicallyand
11

mentallybythepetitionerandhisfamilymembersfornon-paymentof

furtherdemandofdowryofRs.40,000/-(RupeesFortyThousand)only.In

herevidencerespondentasDW1saidthatshewenttohermatrimonial

homeandwhenshearrivedthereshewasassaultedbyherhusbandand

havingnootheralternativeshewascompelledtocomebackfromthere.

Shesaidonoaththatherhusbandwentawayleavingheraloneinthe

quartersaftertortureuponher.Shefurthersaidthatherhusbandnever

lookedafterher.Shefurthersaidthatshedoesnotwantdivorceandshe

wantstostaywithherhusband.Presumablyshehasnoobjectionto

residewithherhusband.TheDW1wascross-examinedbytheappellant

atlength.Nothinghasbeenobtainedtoshakethecredenceofher

statement.Inthispositionthereisnoreasonfordisbelievingthewife’s

evidencethatshewassubjectedtocrueltyandtorturedbyherhusband

andthatassuchshewascompelledtoresideinherfather’shouse.

14.Inordertogetadecreeofdivorceonthegroundofdesertion,ithas

tobeprovedbythepetitionerthattheotherpartytothemarriagehas

desertedhisorherwithoutreasonablecauseandwithouttheconsentor

againstthewishofthepetitionerincludingwillfulneglectofthepetitioner

bytheotherpartytothemarriage.Inadditiontothefactofseparation,

theanimusdeserendiandanimusnon-revertendiithastobeprovedbythe

petitioner/husbandthatthewife,wheresheisthedesertingspouseand

doesnotprovejustcauseforherleavingapart,andtosatisfytheCourt

thatthedesertionwaswithoutjustcause.Wehavefoundinevidencethat

wifehasexpressedherwillingnessandeagernesstoreunitewithher
12

husbandandtoresumeherconjugallife.Thereisnoreasontodisbelieve

her.Inthefactsandcircumstancesoftheinstantcase,andinviewofthe

legalprinciplesasdiscussedabove,weareoftheopinionthatinthe

instantcase,itisthewife/respondentwhohasbeendesertedbythe

husband/appellant.

15.Thejudgmentreferredbytheappellantreportedin94CWN769

andAIR2006(All)Page7areofnoassistancetotheappellantas

becausethesetworulingsarerelatedtothesuitfordivorceontheground

ofcruelty.

16.TheanotherdecisionreportedinAIR2005SC3297alsoisofno

assistancetotheappellantasbecausewifewasnotpreparedtolead

conjugallifewithhusbandandhusbandattemptedingettingbackhiswife

tomatrimonialhouseinthatcase.

17.Fortheforgoingreasonsandalsointhebackgroundofthe

pleadings,weholdthatthepetitionerhasgivenafalsecolouringofhis

case.

18.Thus,takingintoaccountthelock,stockandbarrelweholdthereis

nothingtointerferewiththejudgmentanddecreepassedbythelearned

Courtbelowandaccordingly,wedismisstheappeal.Butconsideringthe

circumstances,weawardnocosts.

13

19.TheLowerCourtRecordalongwithcopyofthisjudgmentbesentto

thelearnedTrialCourtbelowatonceforinformationandtakingnecessary

action.

20.UrgentPhotostatcertifiedcopyoftheorder,ifappliedfor,begivento

thepartiesonprioritybasisontheirusualundertaking.

Iagree.

(SamaptiChatterjee,J.)(ManojitMandal,J.)

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