Kerala High Court Grants Divorce on Grounds of Desertion

Kerala High Court Grants Divorce on Grounds of Desertion

News Summary:

The Kerala High Court recently ruled on Matrimonial Appeal No. 798 of 2020, granting divorce on grounds of desertion. Here’s a simplified breakdown:


The appeal was filed by Haridas, the petitioner/husband, challenging the Family Court’s dismissal of his divorce petition citing cruelty and desertion by his wife, Smitha Haridas. Despite notice, Smitha did not appear before the court.

Petitioner’s Case:

Haridas claimed that due to irreconcilable differences, they lived apart since 2002. Attempts to settle through Lok Adalath failed due to financial constraints. Haridas asserted Smitha’s refusal to file for divorce despite the agreed settlement amount being deposited in court.

Court’s Decision:

The Family Court rejected Haridas’ claims, citing his earlier conviction under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code as sufficient reason for Smitha’s separation. However, the High Court noted that Haridas’ conviction was subsequently overturned.

Fresh Consideration:

With the conviction overturned, the High Court re-evaluated the grounds for desertion. Despite being apart for over 20 years, the absence of matrimonial cruelty led the court to deem desertion as proven.

Divorce Decree:

Given the lack of defense from Smitha and the absence of cohabitation since 2002, the court granted the divorce decree, overturning the Family Court’s decision.

In conclusion, the Kerala High Court’s ruling underscores the importance of legal grounds for divorce, ensuring fairness and justice in marital disputes.

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