Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has said it will be disastrous not to grant decree of divorce if a marriage has broken down irretrievably and there is no chance of the couple coming together or living together again.
The court made the statement while allowing a petition filed by a man against a Gurugram family court’s decision to turn down his plea for dissolution of the marriage on the grounds of alleged cruelty and desertion.
“In the present case, the marriage between the parties had broken down irretrievably and there is no chance of their coming together, or living together again. Further, not to grant decree of divorce would be disastrous for the parties,” the bench of Justice Ritu Bahri and Justice Archana Puri said while passing the order on December 20, 2021.
It was argued that the respondent (wife) was not staying with the (appellant) husband since 2003 and was allegedly not willing to settle the dispute amicably. The man who wanted a divorce was ready to pay one-time alimony so that he could move ahead in life, but the wife was not accepting that.
Referring to a Supreme Court verdict in a case, the HC Bench observed, “…however, marriage which is dead for all purposes, cannot be revived by Court’s verdict, if parties are not willing since marriage involves human sentiments and emotions and if they have dried up, there is hardly any chance of their springing back to life on account of artificial reunion created by court decree.”
After the family court in Gurugram rejected the plea, the man filed an appeal before the high court here seeking setting aside of the judgment.
“..Keeping in view the extra-ordinary facts and circumstances of the case, the appeal is allowed and judgment dated 04.05.2015 passed by District Judge Family Court, Gurgaon is set aside and the decree of divorce is granted to the parties,” the HC bench ordered, while directing the appellant to make a fixed deposit of Rs 10 lakh in the name of the respondent.
In the present case, firstly efforts were made to resolve the matrimonial dispute through the process of mediation, which is one of the effective mode of alternative mechanism in resolving the personal dispute but the mediation failed between the parties, said the HC bench.
“It is not the case of the respondent-wife that she is not financially secure as she is working as permanent lecturer. The parties are staying separately for the last about 18 years and this Court made several attempts to settle the dispute amicably but in vain,” the bench said.
It further observed that “living together is not a compulsory exercise. But marriage is a tie between two parties”.
“The marriage never took off from the first day. All mediation efforts have failed. Now, the marriage cannot be revived after 18 years of separation.
“The respondent is insisting to stay with the appellant but the appellant was not ready to take her back. The respondent is a secured women but still she is not ready to settle the dispute amicably. She does not want to move ahead and she is adamant that even appellant should not move ahead in his life,” it noted.
The bench observed that the issue for consideration was whether the relationship of the husband and wife has come to an end “and if the respondent-wife was not ready to give mutual divorce to the appellant husband, whether this act of her, would amount to cruelty towards husband, keeping in view the fact that she is not staying with him for the last 18 years and there is no scope that they can cohabit as husband and wife again”.
In October 2021, the husband had made an offer of Rs 7,50,000 towards permanent alimony. The respondent was given time to apply her mind to the offer especially keeping in view the fact that she and her husband are staying separately for the last about 18 years, said the bench.
The case was heard and reserved on October 12, 2021 as the respondent was not ready to settle the dispute, it said.
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