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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Inderpreet Singh vs Manpreet Kaur on 6 May, 2019

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT
CHANDIGARH

FAO-2890-2019
Date of Decision: 06.05.2019

Inderpreet Singh …….Appellant
Versus
Manpreet Kaur …..Respondent

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RAKESH KUMAR JAIN
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE HARNARESH SINGH GILL

Present: Mr. Anirudh Kush, Advocate, for the appellant.

HARNARESH SINGH GILL, J.

Challenge in the present appeal is to the judgment

and decree dated 22.11.2018 passed by the learned Principal

Judge, Family Court, Ambala, whereby petition filed by the

appellant-husband under Section 13(1) of the Hindu Marriage

Act, 1955 (for short `the Act’), has been dismissed.

The appellant-husband had filed the aforesaid

petition with the averments that the marriage between the

parties was solemnized on 19.05.2002 according to Sikh rites

and ceremonies. Two children, namely, Anamveen Kaur

(daughter) and Gursimar Singh (son), were born out of the

wedlock. The behavior of the respondent-wife was discourteous

from the very beginning and she used to create embarrassing

situations as also would cause a terror in the minds of the

appellant-husband and his family members. The respondent-

wife during her stay with the appellant-husband for barely two

years did not mend her ways and even after the birth of a female

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child, she continued repeating her misdemeanor by raising a

further demand that the appellant should abandon his parents

and should live separately. Ultimately, the respondent-wife left

the matrimonial home on 11.10.2010. All efforts made by the

appellant to bring her back went in vain. Faced with this

situation, in order to save the matrimonial relationship, the

appellant left his parents and started living with the respondent-

wife at her parental home. Whenever, the appellant used to visit

his parents, the respondent-wife would pick up quarrels with the

appellant-husband and told the appellant that if he wanted to

save his matrimonial relationship, he should completely

abandon his parents. The parents of the appellant could not

bear his separation and ultimately, they passed away. The

respondent-wife also denied sexual intercourse with the

appellant, which amounted to mental cruelty to the appellant.

Refusal to keep matrimonial harmony, cohabitation and

discharge of other matrimonial obligations led to the withdrawal

of the respondent-wife from the society of the appellant and,

thus, brought an end to the relationship between the parties.

Earlier, the petitions under Section 9 of the Act was withdrawn

by the appellant as he had started living with the respondent-

wife in her parental house, whereas the petition under Section

25 of the Guardians and SectionWards Act, filed by the appellant-

husband was withdrawn keeping in view the fact that the

respondent-wife had tutored the children against him.

Upon notice, the respondent-wife appeared and filed

her written statement averring therein that the parties lived

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under the same roof till 14.01.2013. The appellant-husband

had neither been paying the maintenance amount nor the

educational and other expenses of the minor children. The

respondent was always ready and willing to live with the

respondent-husband and he wanted to get rid of the respondent-

wife by leveling totally false and frivolous allegations against her.

The petitions filed by the appellant-husband for restitution of

conjugal rights and the custody of the children, had been

withdrawn by the appellant-husband for the reasons best known

to him. There was, however, no interference from the parents of

the respondent-wife and it was the appellant-husband, who had

turned the respondent-wife out of the matrimonial home and

had also neglected the respondent-wife and their children. The

allegations that her in-laws had died due to shock because of

the conduct of the respondent-wife were denied. It was further

averred that the respondent-wife and her children were always

ready and willing to live in the company of the appellant-

husband but his attitude was always cruel, because the

appellant-husband never wanted to rehabilitate the respondent-

wife and her children in her matrimonial home.

On the pleadings of the parties, issues were framed

and they led their respective evidence.

As stated above, the learned trial Court vide

judgment and decree impugned herein, has dismissed the

petition filed by the appellant-husband.

Learned counsel appearing for the appellant submits

that the learned trial Court has totally ignored the evidence led

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by the appellant regarding the cruelty on the part of the

respondent-wife. It is further submitted that the very fact of

compelling the appellant to live with the respondent-wife at her

parental home, would tantamount to cruelty. It was only after

that incident that the parents of the appellant-husband died due

to shock as they could not bear the separation of their son.

Thus, if these events are taken into consideration in totality, it

can safely be concluded that the appellant-husband has been

treated with cruelty. However, while passing the impugned

judgment, the learned trial Court has observed that the

respondent-wife was always ready and willing to live with the

appellant-husband and thus, there does not arise any question

of cruelty.

We have heard learned counsel for the appellant but

do not find any merit in the present appeal.

The learned trial Court has rightly found that mere

oral averments of the appellant-husband that he was caused

cruelty by the respondent-wife without there being any

corroborative evidence and specific dates and instances, does

not amount to cruelty, physical or mental, on the part of the

respondent-wife. While terming the matrimonial difference

pointed out by the appellant-husband in his petition as minor

wear and tear of the matrimonial life, in our opinion, the

conclusion drawn by the learned trial Court that the action of

the respondent-wife in not initiating any criminal proceedings

against the appellant-husband and his family members, goes a

long way to show that she had no ill-will towards the appellant-

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husband, is perfectly justified. Rather, the said conduct shows

that she wanted to preserve and maintain her matrimonial

relationship with the appellant-husband. Testimony of PW2-

Madan Lal was termed to be hearsay evidence as it was found

that he himself had never seen the respondent-wife quarreling

with the appellant. Thus, it was held that the appellant-

husband was not entitled to the decree of divorce on the ground

of cruelty.

As regards desertion, it was found that after the

respondent-wife had allegedly left the matrimonial home, the

appellant-husband, as per his own version, started residing with

the respondent-wife in her parental home. Thus, it was rightly

held that the alleged act of cruelty and desertion once condoned,

cannot be taken as a ground specifically for seeking divorce in

view of Section 13(1)(a) of the Act. The learned trial Court in para

No.26 of its judgment has held as under:-

“26. In the instant case, the contention of the

petitioner is that the respondent has withdrawn from

his coeity without any sufficient cause with effect

from 11.10.2010 when she left her matrimonial

home. However, no such evidence has been led by

the petitioner which may prove that the respondent

left her matrimonial home on 11.10.2010 with an

intention to put the cohabitation to an end

permanently. Rather as per the admitted case of both

the parties, they resided together in the old house

owned by the parents of the respondent till January,

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2013. The contention raised by the petitioner is that

he was turned out of the above said house owned by

the parents of the respondent in the month of

January, 2013. It implies that even after the

respondent left her matrimonial home on

11.10.2010, she was still willing to reside with the

respondent. In these circumstances, the contention

of the petitioner to the effect that the respondent left

her matrimonial home with an intention to put the

cohabitation to an end permanently cannot be

accepted.”

The learned trial Court has, thus, found that from the evidence

on record, it stood established that the respondent-wife along

with the children was ready to return to her matrimonial home

and cohabit with the appellant-husband.

In our opinion, the findings recorded by the learned

trial Court cannot be faulted. In matrimonial cases, either of the

spouses cannot be allowed to seek a divorce on the

allegations/grounds, which ceased to exist with the parties living

together after the alleged grounds of cruelty/desertion. The

conduct of the appellant-husband in withdrawing the petition

under Section 9 of the Act and the petition under Section 25 of

the Guardians and SectionWards Act, speaks volumes of the fact that

the parties had reconciled their disputes/differences and started

residing in the company of each other. From the evidence led by

the respondent-wife, a finding has been recorded that she is

ready and willing to cohabit with the appellant-husband. Thus,

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we are of the considered opinion that the minor wear and tear of

a married life cannot be termed to be a cruelty or desertion so as

to maintain the proceedings for divorce at the instance of either

of the spouses.

No other point has been urged.

In view of the above, we do not find any illegality or

perversity in the judgment and decree passed by the learned

trial Court. Consequently, finding no merit in the present

appeal, the same is hereby dismissed.

(RAKESH KUMAR JAIN) (HARNARESH SINGH GILL)
JUDGE JUDGE
6.5.2019
ds
Whether Speaking/ Reasoned: Yes/ No
Whether Reportable: Yes/ No

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