The Allahabad High Court dissolved a marriage last week after finding that depriving a spouse of sexual relations for a protracted length of time without a valid cause constituted mental cruelty towards the spouse.
The divorce appeal under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 was denied by a family court ruling from a Principal judge, which was overturned by a panel of justices Suneet Kumar and Rajendra Kumar.
The Family Court had noted that the husband had provided photocopies of papers rather than the originals, which are not acceptable.
The husband asked for a divorce citing long-term abandonment, mental abuse, and a divorce agreement.
Nothing is gained by attempting to keep the parties permanently bound to a marriage that has already ended, the court said. “Since there is no acceptable view in which a spouse can be compelled to resume life with the consort,” the decision added.
The husband said in court when he filed the appeal that the pair wed in May 1979. After some time, according to him, his wife's conduct changed and she refused to live with him as his wife. He made an effort to persuade her, but she refused to interact with him or build any kind of connection.
She briefly resided with him, the husband continued, but finally moved out to live with her parents.
According to LiveLaw, the husband said that after the couple had been married for six months, he attempted to persuade the wife to return to his home so that they could execute their “obligation” as a married couple and honour their union, but she refused.
According to community regulations, the husband requested a Panchayat meeting in July 1994. After paying the wife $22,000 in permanent alimony, the pair negotiated a divorce arrangement.
Following this, the wife got married a second time. She was not present in court when the husband attempted to get a divorce.
According to the family court, the husband had no proof that his wife had entered into a second marriage.
The High Court noted that the husband and wife had not been living apart for a very long period. The court also declared that their marriage had failed because, in the husband's opinion, the wife didn't respect their union as husband and wife.