A division bench of Justices V M Velumani and S Sounthar granted divorce to a man, noting that his wife suspected his character and even went to his workplace to create a scene. The woman went to her husband’s workplace, made a scene in front of his coworkers, and then filed a complaint against him without providing evidence, all because she suspected he was having an affair.
The bench noted that she used vulgar language and linked him to other female teaching staff members, in front of students and other colleagues in the college.
“We can safely infer that the wife visited the college in which the husband was working and she created a scene there by linking him with female teaching staff in the presence of other staff members and students. Certainly this act of the wife would amount to mental cruelty within the meaning of Section 13(1)(ia) of Hindu Marriage Act. We can also add that this act would certainly cause serious, irreparable injury to the image of the husband in the minds of his colleagues and students.”
The Madras High Court ruled that suspecting a spouse’s character, visiting their office, making a scene in their office, and then filing a complaint against them without proof amounts to mental cruelty, causing “serious, irreparable injury to the husband’s image in the minds of his colleagues and students.”
The Court heard an appeal filed by the husband challenging a Family Court judgement that denied him a divorce decree due to cruelty. The husband, a medical college lecturer, and wife, a government school teacher, married on November 10, 2008, and had only been married for two and a half years.
The wife alleged that her husband was having unlawful sexual relations with other female instructors and that he used to talk on the phone with them till midnight.
In her complaint to a local police station, she stated that she wished to reconcile with her husband and live happily with him, if only for the sake of her daughter’s future. During the court, the husband stated that when his wife left in 2011, she removed her Mangalsutra.
The bench decided that removing the Mangalsutra indicated that the party did not wish to continue the marital relationship, and the Court approved the husband’s appeal and ordered divorce. The wife, on the other hand, explained that she had just removed the chain and had kept the thali.
She claimed that tying the thali chain is unnecessary, and that removing it would have no effect on a couple’s marital life. However, the judges believed that the act of removing the thali chain had its own significance and indicated that the parties had no intention of continuing their marital relationship.
“It is a matter of common knowledge that tying of thali is an essential ritual in marriage ceremony that takes place in this part of the world. The removal of thali chain is often treated as an unceremonious act. We don’t say for a moment that removal of thali chain per se sufficient to put an end to the marital knot, but the said act of the wife is a piece of evidence in drawing an inference about the intentions of the parties. The act of the wife in removal of thali chain at the time of separation coupled with various other evidences available on record, compel us to come to a definite conclusion that the parties have no intention to reconcile and continue the marital knot.”
As a result, the Judge allowed the husband’s appeal and granted him divorce. Senior Counsel S Subbiah represented the husband, while advocate S Vijayaraghavan represented the wife.
Case Title: C Sivakumar vs A Srividhya