Legal Correspondent: Anuradha Patel
28th November 2021: In a recent, judgment the Delhi High Court has dismissed marriage within a couple by decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty noting that the husband had seen his wife as a cash cow on getting a job with Delhi Police without any sentimental bonds. The Bench of Delhi High Court was trading with an appeal registered by a wife questioning the Family Court order after observing neither of the grounds of cruelty or desertion was established by her.
A bench headed by Justice Vipin Sanghi and including Justice Jasmeet Singh, said the husband's possessive attitude, out of any sentimental bonds, would have built mental distress and injury to the wife, which is enough to establish cruelty to her.
While noting that generally it is the passion of every married woman to begin a family, the bench noted that in the immediate case, the husband seemed to be "not involved in nourishing the marriage but only involved in the wife's income".
The court set aside a family court's order which denied the wife's divorce plea and dismissed the marriage between the parties under the Hindu Marriage Act.
The woman asked for a divorce because her husband was jobless, an alcoholic and used to physically harm her and order money. As the couple belonged to a poor environment, the marriage was solemnified when the husband was 19 years old and the wife was 13 years old.
Even after achieving the age of majority in 2005, the wife proceeded to remain at her patrilineal home till November 2014. During the same time, she acquired a job with the Delhi Police.
"The continued gap within the parties even after the appellant (wife) achieved majority would, in itself, have caused trauma and ended in cruelty to the appellant apart from everything else the state probabilities the stand of the appellant, that the respondent (husband) attacked the appellant to pocket her income, since he was himself jobless,” the court said.
"The respondent, it seems, observed the appellant as a cash cow and became involved in her only after she received the job by the Delhi Police. Such a brazenly greedy nature of the respondent, with no sentimental bonds, would have in itself created mental distress and shock to the appellant enough to constitute cruelty to her,” it added.
However, the husband opposed the dissolution of marriage because he financed the woman's study, because of which she acquired the job.
The court noted that as the wife was being with her parents till 2014, it was "obvious that all her responsibilities for living and childhood would have been supported by her parents" and there was nothing to show the contrast.
"From our communication with the respondent, it has become completely clear to us that the matter of the respondent in proceeding with the relationship is only because the appellant owns a job with Delhi Police, and he views the alleged expense which he claimed he has incurred on the education of the appellant (and which is disputed by the appellant), as an investment, which would not bear fruit in case parties were to part ways with judicial intervention,” the court said.
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