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HIGH COURT OF TRIPURA
Mat App No.10 of 2015
Shri Sahadeb Das, S/o. Lt. Banamali Das, a resident of
Goachand, P.O. Harina, P.S. Manu Bazar, Sabroom, South
Smti. Mini Das, W/o. Shri Sahadeb Das, D/o. Lt. Manindra
Chandra Das, a resident of Vill- Purba Pratapgarh, P.S. West
Agartala, District- West Tripura.
HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. AKIL KURESHI
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ARINDAM LODH
For Appellant(s) : Mr. S.M. Chakraborty, Sr. Advocate,
Ms. B. Chakraborty, Advocate,
Ms. P. Sen, Advocate.
For Respondent(s) : Mr. D.R. Choudhury, Advocate,
Mr. S. Sarkar, Advocate.
Date of hearing
judgment : 16th December, 2019.
Whether fit for reporting : Yes No
JUDGMENT ORDER (ORAL)
(Akil Kureshi, CJ)
This appeal is filed by the husband challenging the
judgment and decree dated 6th May, 2015 passed by the learned
Judge, Family Court, Agartala, West Tripura in Title Suit
(Divorce) No.377 of 2011.
 Brief facts are as under :
The appellant-husband and respondent-wife were
married according to Hindu rights on 26th February, 1993 at
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Agartala. Out of the wedlock the couple had a girl child who was
born on 14th November, 1995. Over the period it appears that the
relations between the husband and wife became more and more
strained. According to the husband, he and his wife eventually
separated in the year 2008 which continued right up to the filing
of a divorce petition by the husband in November, 2011. The
divorce petition was founded on the allegations of cruelty and
desertion at the hands of the wife. In such petition, the husband
had alleged that after the birth of the girl child the respondent
had become aggressive. The wife could not visit the husband
wherever he was posted. From 2000 onwards the husband was
not allowed to meet his daughter. For some time attempts were
made for reconciliation. However, these attempts did not last
long. The husband alleged cruelty at the hands of the wife.
 The wife filed written statement and denied these
allegations. She alleged that the husband was arrogant. He was
not happy about a female child being born out of the marriage.
After the birth of the child the husband’s attitude towards her
had changed. She also alleged that the husband’s parents had
treated her with cruelty. She also asserted that it was the
husband who refused to stay with her wife though the wife was
always ready and willing to stay with him.
 The family Court had framed issues whether the
petitioner was subjected with cruelty by the respondent or that
he was deserted by her and whether the petitioner was entitled
to a decree of divorce.
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 The family Court recorded the deposition of the
husband as P.W.1 in which he had stated that during one such
altercation picked up by the wife, he had himself got annoyed
and had slapped the wife. He stated that after his transfer to
Agartala he and his wife had started living together in a quarter
but she did not reside there regularly. In the year 2010 his
parents went to the wife to persuade her to reunite which she
refused. The husband was cross-examined and his allegations
 The husband had examined two more persons namely
one Shri Jiban Kumar Bhowmik P.W.2, who was the driver of the
husband for about 6 years, employed by the government and
Shri Haradhan Chandra Das P.W.3, the brother of the petitioner.
However, neither of these two witnesses have given any details
personally known to them in support of the husband’s allegations
of cruelty or desertion by the wife. We may therefore not refer to
contents of their depositions at any length.
 The respondent had examined herself as D.W.1 in
which she had denied the allegations of the husband of cruelty at
her hands. In fact she alleged that the husband was not happy
about the birth of a girl child and was demanding divorce from
her. She was cross-examined by the husband.
 The wife had also examined one Smt. Mandira Das
D.W.2, her sister. She had a house adjacent to the house of the
wife’s father. She had deposed about the husband not being
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happy with the birth of a female child. The respondent had also
examined few more witnesses for the same purpose.
 On the basis of such evidence on record the learned
Judge of the family Court came the conclusion that the husband
had failed to prove the allegations of cruelty or desertion and
therefore decree of dissolution of marriage cannot be granted.
This judgment the husband has challenged in the present appeal.
 Mr. S.M. Chakraborty, learned senior counsel
appearing for the appellant-husband submitted that the husband
had proved the ground of cruelty as well as desertion by leading
cogent evidence. Very fact that the wife had made serious
allegations against the parents of the husband in the written
statement would also establish the ground of cruelty. He
submitted that the couple has been residing separately since
2008. They have an aged daughter. Both are self sufficient. In
any case this is a case of hopelessly broken down marriage. The
same should be dissolved.
 In support of his contentions he relied on the following
(i) In case of Shobha Rani versus Madhukar Reddi,
reported in AIR 1988 SC 121, in which the fact that the
parents of the husband had demanded dowry from the wife,
was held sufficient to establish the ground of cruelty.
(ii) In case of V. Bhagat versus Mrs. D. Bhagat,
reported in AIR 1994 SC 710, in which an unsubstantiated
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allegation made by the wife in the written statement in
response to the petition for divorce filed by the husband,
was taken as a ground of cruelty.
(iii) In case of Vidhya Viswanathan versus Kartik
Balakrishnan, reported in 2014 15 SCC 21, in which it
was held that the denial of sexual pleasure by the wife for
long time without sufficient reasons would amount to
 On the other hand Mr. D. R. Choudhury, learned counsel
for the respondent-wife opposed the appeal contending that the
husband had not led any evidence in support of his allegations of
cruelty or desertion. His statements in the deposition were not
corroborated by any independent evidence. The wife’s deposition
was corroborated by other witnesses.
 In support of his contentions he relied on the following
(i) In case of Suman Singh versus Sanjay Singh,
reported in AIR 2017 SC 1316, in which it was observed
that few isolated incidents of long past which were
condoned due to the behaviour of the parties, would not
amount to cruelty.
(ii) In case of K. Rama Kumari versus K. Anil Kumar
Banerji (died) and another, reported in AIR 2017
Hyderabad 67, in which the Division Bench of the High
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Court had discussed the law on desertion by a party to a
 We may recall, the husband’s petition for dissolution of
marriage was based on the allegations of cruelty and desertion
by the wife. Before assessing the evidence on record to ascertain
whether he had succeeded in establishing these grounds, we may
record that presently husband is aged about 60 years and wife is
about 55 years of age. They both have a grown up daughter. The
husband is an All India Service officer of Tripura cadre. The wife
is serving in Tripura Civil Services. Both of them are thus
educated and well placed in their respective careers.
Unfortunately they have not been able to live together for over a
decade by now. The root of their disharmony go even further
 Having said that, we may refer to the evidence on
record. The sole witness of any significance examined by the
husband was himself. In his deposition he had broadly narrated
the incidents which according to him would demonstrate cruelty
at the hands of the wife. He had also alleged unwillingness on the
part of the wife to reside with him i.e. the desertion perpetrated
by the wife. Significantly in his own deposition he had stated that
during one such altercation picked up by the wife, he got so
annoyed that he slapped her.
 This deposition by the husband remains largely
uncorroborated. There is no other support from any witness to
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these incidences of quarrels which were allegedly picked up by
the wife. Surely the husband could have examined some witness
who may be present during any of these quarrels. Neither his
daughter nor his parents nor any other relative has been cited as
a witness in corroboration of his allegations against the wife.
Strangely the husband has also not produced any documents in
relation to any of these incidences. When according to the
husband there were several instances of friction leading to
physical altercation and when the two are either by choice or by
necessity of transferable jobs were residing separately, it is
difficult to appreciate that there were no letters or other written
documents exchanged between the husband and wife. The
husband has not produced a single letter or notice exchanged
between him and his wife referring to any of these unfortunate
 On the other hand the wife has entered the witness
box, denied the allegations of cruelty and desertion made against
her. She has also produced supporting evidence of other
 Learned senior counsel for the appellant may be
correct in contending that what should be the tolerable threshold
of cruelty must depend on facts of each case and on the
background from which the parties to the litigation may be
coming. Nevertheless bare necessary evidence to establish
cruelty or desertion must be present. When the trial Court
refused to accept the deposition of the husband as the sole basis
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of proof of the allegations and to which we are also in agreement,
we do not think that the husband has made out any case in the
 Learned senior counsel for the appellant has also
fleetingly argued that this is a case of a marriage which has
hopelessly broken down. For whatever reason, he submitted that,
it is simply impossible for the appellant and the respondent to
reside together. He therefore submitted that the marriage should
 We are conscious that the Supreme Court in exercise of
powers under SectionArticle 142 of the Constitution of India has been
granting such divorces when it is found that the marriage in a
given case has hopelessly broken down without any hope of
reunion between the couple. However, in the SectionHindu Marriage Act
such ground is not yet statutorily recognized. As an appellate
Court we must go by the permissible grounds for desertion of a
marriage contained in the Hindu Marriage Act and cannot travel
 In the result, the appeal is dismissed. Pending
application(s), if any, also stands disposed of.
(ARINDAM LODH), J (AKIL KURESHI), CJ