No law gives the right to a husband to beat and torture his wife, the Delhi High Court has held while granting divorce to a woman on the grounds of cruelty and desertion by the man.
The high court said, in this case, it has been proved that the man failed to resume companionship with his wife and not only did there exist physical separation but it was also coupled with “animus” of not bringing her back to the matrimonial home.
Taking into account the medical documents of the woman, the high court said in the absence of any rebuttal by the man, it has to be held that the woman’s testimony of being subjected to physical assault stands corroborated by the medical documents.
“Merely because the parties got married and the respondent (man) was her husband, no law gave him the right to subject his wife to beatings and torture. Such conduct of the respondent necessarily qualifies as physical cruelty entitling the appellant (woman) to divorce under Section 13(1) (ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA), 1955,” a bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal Krishna said.
The court noted that the man, who was present before it at the time of the passing of the verdict, had no objection to the grant of divorce.
“We accordingly find merit in the appeal and the marriage between the appellant and the respondent is hereby dissolved,” the bench said.
The high court was hearing an appeal filed by the woman challenging the decision of a family court which had dismissed her petition seeking divorce from the man on the grounds of cruelty and desertion.
The high court noted that the woman had deposed that she was left at her parental home on May 11, 2013, in an injured condition and thereafter despite her efforts, the man refused to take her back to the matrimonial home.
It said the man has also not countered the woman’s argument that she was not brought back to the matrimonial home, for which there existed no reason.
“It is proved that the respondent had failed to resume the companionship with the appellant and thus not only there exist physical separation but it was also coupled with ‘animus’ of not bringing back the appellant to the matrimonial home.
“The respondent had no intention of resuming the matrimonial relationship which also got reflected when he chose not to contest the petition. The petition for divorce has been filed after more than two years of separation and therefore the appellant is also entitled to divorce on the ground of desertion under Section 13 1 (ib) of the HMA,” the high court said.
According to the woman’s plea, she and the man got married in February 2013 and they have been living with the family of the man’s maternal aunt since his parents died a long time back.
The woman claimed that soon after the marriage, she was subjected to physical and mental torture and various atrocities were meted out to her which she continued to tolerate in the fond hope that with the passage of time, things would get settled.
However, the atrocities of the man and his family members kept increasing as they wanted to get rid of her so that the man could re-marry into an affluent family, the plea said.
The woman claimed that there was repeated demand for dowry and she was deserted by the man who refused to take her back to the matrimonial home.
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