Financial Instability, False Allegations and Long Separation: Delhi High Court Grants Divorce to Wife

New Delhi, September 6, 2023 – In a significant and groundbreaking judgment, the Delhi High Court has granted a divorce to Wife on the grounds of cruelty and desertion under Section 13(1)(ia) and 13(1)(ib) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Background of the Case

The case revolves around a marriage that took place on April 9, 1989, following Hindu customs and traditions. However, despite nearly seven years of matrimony, the couple separated on November 27, 1996, with no children born from the union. The petitioner, the wife, alleged suffering various forms of physical and mental cruelty at the hands of her husband and his family members.

Allegations of Cruelty & Financial Instability

The appellant, the wife, claimed to have been subjected to physical and mental cruelty throughout her marriage. She held an impressive academic record, having graduated from Delhi University with honors and excelling in extracurricular activities. Prior to marriage, she was employed at a multinational corporation, enjoying a reputable position. The husband, at the time of marriage, was represented as a Delhi University graduate earning a substantial income. Later, the wife discovered that the husband was neither a graduate nor employed as claimed. Instead, he relied solely on financial support from his mother.

Physical and Emotional Abuse

The wife also endured physical abuse, including an incident where her head was violently struck against a wall, causing her to lose consciousness. She was often treated like a servant in her own home, devoid of love and affection from her husband and his family. Moreover, her health deteriorated due to the lack of basic necessities and medical care, eventually leading to her diagnosis with epilepsy.

Financial Demands and Threats

Financial demands from the husband and his family compounded her suffering. They sought money for various purposes, including business investments and housing. The husband’s addiction to gambling and alcohol further escalated the cruelty. The husband’s constant threats to compel her to commit suicide and his interference in her personal relationships further aggravated her distress.

Judge's Gavel and Happy Wife - Latest Divorce Judgement in Favor of Wife. Celebrating a Legal Victory.

Abandonment and Legal Battle

In the wake of ongoing cruelty and threats, the wife left the matrimonial home on November 27, 1996. She sought refuge at her parental home, filing a complaint with the Crime Against Women (CAW) Cell in August 1997 due to the non-return of her jewelry and dowry items. Despite reconciliation attempts initiated by the husband, the wife remained separated, living apart for nearly 27 years.

Family Court Decision

The District Court Judge in Delhi carefully considered the testimonies of both the husband and the wife, along with the incidents they described within their marriage. After thorough examination, the judge concluded that none of these incidents reached the level of cruelty required for a divorce. Additionally, the judge found that the husband had not abandoned the wife, as she had claimed. As a result, the divorce petition was dismissed.

Appeal in Delhi High Court

Hon’ble Delhi court observed that the long-standing separation of more than 27 years between the husband and wife, starting from December 1996, had created immense pain and suffering. The court recognized that allowing such a dead and acrimonious relationship to continue would only cause more harm. The court also noted the financial instability between the parties and held that the term “mental cruelty” is wide enough to take within its ambit the “financial instability”. Therefore, it deemed this extended separation as a valid reason for granting a divorce on the grounds of cruelty, as per Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Furthermore, the court noted that the husband had been living separately from the wife since November 1996, and despite claims of reconciliation efforts, there was insufficient evidence to support this. The court concluded that the husband had intentionally abandoned the marriage and had no intention of resuming the matrimonial relationship for over two years prior to the divorce petition. Consequently, the court granted the divorce on the grounds of desertion as well, in accordance with Section 13(1)(ib) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

For the complete judgment and detailed insights, you can refer to the original case document with Case No. MAT.APP.(F.C.) 197/2022, available on the Delhi High Court’s official website. This downloaded judgment can serve as a valuable resource for legal reference in ongoing cases as well.


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