The High Court Of Uttarakhand At Nainital in First Appeal No.139 of 2017 Sheenu Mahendru (Appellant) Versus Sangeeta @ Soniya (Respondent)

The Uttarakhand High Court has observed that the persistent efforts of a wife to compel her husband to get separated from his mother constitute an act of cruelty.

The division bench comprising of Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice R.C. Khulbe allowed the appeal of a husband who had sought divorce on the ground of cruelty by wife.

The judges said that, in this case, they do not find any ‘justifiable reasons’ shown by the wife for living separated from mother in law. The judgment further observes:

“It is not a common practice, desirable and acceptable norm for a son to leave his old mother when there is no one else to take care of her in order to settle with his wife, particularly when he is the only earning member in the family. After being brought up and educated by his mother, the son has a moral and legal obligation to take care and maintain her when she becomes old and has no other source of income to maintain her.”

In Uttarakhand High Court opinion, normally, no husband would tolerate this nor would any son like to be separated from his old mother, who is dependent upon her son. The persistent efforts of the respondent-wife to compel the appellant to get separated from his mother would be torturous for the husband, and in our opinion this act of respondent certainly constitutes an act of cruelty. However, these allegations were not touched by the Family Court. It is also evident that the respondent has lodged a complaint against her husband and his relatives. Such type of behaviour must come with the definition of ‘cruelty’.

In the present case, living separately of the parties for a long time, public insult, embarrassment to the appellant, agony and humiliation suffered by the appellant, charging the appellant with false allegations amounts to cruelty by the respondent towards her husband.

The relationship between the parties has deteriorated to the extent that there is no possibility of any reconciliation. Their relationship has reached to the point from where there appears no possibility of harmonious conjugal relationships or their being living together as husband and wife and discharging the matrimonial duties.

The court listed the cruelty by the wife in this case.

Disrespectful and disparaging remarks by the wife against the husband would amount to cruelty.

In this case it was observed that the wife created a pressure on husband by alleging that she will commit suicide and kill her son and entangle the appellant in a false case would amount to be a cruelty. The attitude of wife abusing the mother in law and making sarcastic remark against the husband before the relatives of husband would amount to be a cruelty. If the wife physically assaults the mother-in-law and abuses her will amount to be a cruelty. Wife wanted the husband to leave his own mother and get separated from his mother so that the wife can live independently, and in that event,  it would become more torturous for the husband to stay only with the respondent-wife to tolerate such nature and behaviour of the respondent.

The court listed the cruelty by the wife in this case.

Judgment-Sheenu Mehendru V Sangeeta

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