In a recent judgment, the Calcutta High Court granted a husband a divorce from his wife for subjecting him to mental cruelty. The wife had forced him to separate from his parents and also called him a ‘coward and unemployed.’ The bench of Justices Soumen Sen and Uday Kumar observed that it is customary for a son in an Indian family to live with his parents even after marriage. The wife must have a justifiable reason for separating him from his parents.
The Indian culture nurtures the idea of a son’s obligation to maintain his parents. If the wife tries to deviate the son from the customary practice, she must have a good reason for that. In this case, the bench noted that the wife had no valid reason for asking the husband to separate from his parents, except for some ego clashes and financial issues.
The court observed that the wife’s persistent effort to separate the husband from his family was torturous for the husband. It would not be common for a son in India to separate from his parents at the wife’s instance. The husband had moved out of his parent’s house to a rented one only for the sake of his peaceful matrimonial life.
The court noted several instances of rude behaviour on the part of the wife, including her belligerent attitude towards the husband and his family. The wife had also filed a false complaint against the husband, which cost him his government job. All these factors amounted to mental cruelty on the husband.
The court concluded that the long separation, mental and physical torture, and the unwillingness of the parties to live together had left no scope to repair their marital bond. The marriage had become a fiction though supported by a legal tie. By refusing to sever that tie, the law would not serve the sanctity of marriage. It would show scant regard for the feelings and emotions of the parties, which could lead to mental cruelty.
In such cases, denying a decree of divorce would be disastrous for the parties. Therefore, the court dismissed the wife’s appeal and granted the husband a divorce. It is essential to note that Indian culture places a significant emphasis on the relationship between parents and children. Any attempt to separate a son from his parents without a valid reason would amount to mental cruelty and lead to the breakdown of the marriage.
Advocates Rahul Karmakar and Debabrata Roy appeared for the Wife.
Senior Advocate I Mukhopadhyay and advocate Pradip Neogi represented the Husband.