The Chhattisgarh High Court recently held that a wife insisting on staying with the husband at the place of his work posting is not cruelty under the Hindu Marriage Act [Ravishankar Shrivas vs Sarita Sen].
A division bench of Justices Goutam Bhaduri and Deepak Kumar Tiwari underscored that in matrimonial ties, reciprocal respect, regard to each other and company is necessary.
“It is obvious that if the wife insists to stay with the husband and without any extraneous reason or official cause, if husband refuses to keep her at the posting place, it cannot be said to be a cruelty by the wife towards the husband for such insistence,” the bench held.
The Court, therefore, dismissed the appeal filed by a husband challenging the June 28, 2019 order of a Family Court in Janjgir which had denied decree of divorce to him on grounds of cruelty.
The couple had married on May 19, 2005. They lived happily for some time but things turned sour gradually. The husband alleged that the wife insisted to live separately and not with her in-laws. However, when the husband refused to accede to her request, she often picked up quarrels.
The husband further claimed that in June 2009 the wife left the matrimonial house voluntarily and returned only in December 2009. She again left the matrimonial house without any cause.
He alleged that after the death of his mother in 2012 and father in 2015, when he requested her to return to the matrimonial house, she refused to come back.
On the other hand, the wife contended that she and her husband lived happily only for five years after their marriage. However, when she insisted the husband to take her along to the place of his posting and let her live with him there, he refused to do so. She alleged that since 2010, he started neglecting her and therefore, she left the matrimonial house.
Having heard the contentions, the bench noted that the husband himself had refused to allow his wife to reside with him at the place of his posting and he has not stated any reason in the petition or in his deposition for his unwillingness to keep his wife with him at the place of his posting.
“When the conduct of the husband was at fault in not allowing his wife to reside with him and in such compelling circumstances, if the wife is living separately at her parental house and the husband has also not made any effort or called any social meeting and not taken any steps for filing any application for restitution of conjugal rights, mere assertion in the plaint that the wife is residing separately since December 2009 for any sufficient cause, is not found to be proved,” the bench said in the order passed on September 25.
The bench, therefore, dismissed the appeal and also directed the husband to pay interim maintenance of ₹15,000 to the wife.
Advocate Ritesh Giri appeared for the Husband.
Advocate Nirupama Bajpai represented the Wife.