Sirohi v. Smt. Meenakshi, AIR
2007 All 211, the husband made an application for divorce and the wife took a
stand in the written statement that she is not inclined to continue marital
relationship with her husband. However the said application was rejected by the
court below on the ground that as per Section 14 of the Act, court cannot
entertain any petition for dissolution of marriage unless at the date of
presentation of the petition one year has elapsed from the date of the marriage.
When the matter reached the High Court, it was held as under:
have gone through the provision contained under the proviso to section 14 of the
Hindu Marriage Act and we find that the High Court can allow to present the present
the petition before lapse of one year from the date of marriage on the ground
that the lapse is one of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or of
exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent. It appears to us that when
immediately after marriage no marital relationship developed amongst themselves
and they are voluntarily inclined to withdraw relationship, their life should
not be allowed to be deserted. When differences have occurred which cannot be
compromised if at this stage they are separated, they can be able to enjoy
their happy marital life elsewhere. Continuance of the litigation will cause
mental and physical harassment to them unnecessarily when both of them are not
inclined to continue with the relationship at all. Both the parties have
withdrawn their allegations and counter allegations against each other.”
catena of cases relating to matrimonial
dispute, the Hon’ble Apex Court has observed that matrimonial disputes have to be
decided by courts in a pragmatic manner keeping in view the ground realties.
For this purpose a host of facts have to be taken into consideration and the
most important being whether the marriage can be saved and the husband and wife
can live together happily and maintain a proper atmosphere at home for the
upbringing of their offspring. A. Agarwal
v. Principal Judge, 2019 (2) AWC
In the case of Maya Devi v. Jagdish Prasad, 2007 (67) ALR 129, it was held that not only the physical cruelty which can be a ground for a divorce but the mental cruelty also constituted a good ground for divorce. In the case of Sadhana Srivastava v. Sri Arvind Kumar Srivastava, 2005 (61) ALR 268, it was held that making a false allegation against the husband of having illicit relationship and extra marital affairs by wife in her written statement constitute mental cruelty of such nature that husband cannot be reasonable asked to live with wife. In such case, the husband is entitled to a decree of divorce. Similar views have been expressed by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of Jai Dayal v. Shakuntala Devi, AIR 2004 Del 31 in which it has been held that leveling of false allegation by one spouse about the other having alleged illicit relations with different persons outside wedlock amounted to mental cruelty. Rajesh Dwivedi v. Additional Principal Judge, Family Court, 2015 (108) ALR 337.
In Savitri Pandey v. Prem Chandra Pandey, (2002) 6 SCC 73, it was held as under:
“Desertion for the purpose of seeking divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, means the intentional permanent forsaking and abandonment of one spouse by the other without that other’s consent and without reasonable cause. In other words it is a total repudiation of the obligations of marriage. Desertion is not withdrawal from a place but from a state of things. Desertion, therefore, means withdrawing from the matrimonial obligations, i.e. not permitting or allowing and facilitating the cohabitation between the parties. The proof of desertion has to be considered by taking into consideration the concept of marriage which in law legalizes the sexual relationship between man and woman in the society for the perpetuation of race, permitting lawful indulgence in passion to prevent licentiousness and for procreation of children. Desertion is not a single act complete in itself, it is a continuous course of conduct to be determined under the facts and circumstances of each case. After referring to a host of authorities, the Court in Bipinchandra Jaisingbhai Shah v. Prabhavati, AIR 1957 SC 176, held that if a spouse abandons the other in a state of temporary passion, for example, anger or disgust without intending permanently to cease cohabitation, it will not amount to desertion.”
In Lachman Utamchand Kriplani v. Meena, AIR 1964 SC 40, it has been held that desertion in it’s essence means the intentional permanent forsaking and abandonment of one spouse by the other without that other’s consent, and without reasonable cause. For the offence of desertion so far as the deserting spouse is concerned, two essential conditions must be there (1) the factum of separation, and (2) the intention to bring cohabitation permanently to an end (animus deserendi). Similarly two elements are essential so far as the deserted spouse is concerned: (1) the absence of consent, and (2) absence of conduct giving reasonable cause to the spouse leaving the matrimonial home to form the necessary intention aforesaid. For holding desertion as proved, the inference may be drawn from certain facts which may not in another case be capable of leading to the same inference; that is to say the facts have to be viewed as to the purpose which is revealed by those acts or by conduct and expression of intention, both anterior and subsequent to the actual acts of separation. Malathi Ravi, M.D. v. B.V. Ravi, M.D., (2014) 7 SCC 640.