Court:Punjab-Haryana High Court
Bench: JUSTICE Swatanter Kumar
Hari Krishan vs Neelam Rani on 16 September, 1998
Serious but false allegations were made by the wife against her husband, even stating that he had put kerosene oil on her. Marriage dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty.
1. In the month of March, 1987 Hari Krishan was married to Neelam Rani at Village Asspur, Tehsil Mukerian, District Hoshiarpur. They lived together as husband and wife, but no child was born out of this wedlock. The husband Hari Krishan filed the petition under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act praying for a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty and desertion. According to him the various acts of the wife amounted to mental as well as physical cruelty upon him. She had deserted him for the last more than three years with the intention to bring an end to the matrimonial relationship between the parties. The petition was contested by the respondent.
2. The learned Trial Court framed the following issue :
1. Whether the respondent has deserted the petitioner as alleged ?
2. Whether the respondent has been cruel to the petitioner as alleged ?
3. Whether the petitioner is entitled to divorce ?
After having given the parties an adequate opportuni ty to lead evidence the learned Trial Court answered both the issues of cruelty and desertion against the petitioner and consequently, dismissed the petition under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, filed by the husband, vide judgment and decree dated 4.8.1998, giving rise to the present appeal. The present appeal was filed on or about 15.9.1997. Since then the parties are admittedly living apart.
3. When this case came up for hearing on 9.9.1998, learned Counsel for the respondent-wife, upon instructions from his client, who is present in Court, made a statement in the Court that die appeal may be accepted. The following order was passed on that date :
“Learned Counsel appearing for the respondent submits upon instructions from his client Ms. Neelam Rani, who is present in Court, mat the appeal of the appellant be accepted. He further submits that marriage between the parties has irretrievably broken down’ as they are living separately and contesting the litigation. Learned Counsel further submits that because of mutual consent of the parties, the respondent would have no claim against the appellant.
I have heard the learned Counsel for the appellant on merits of the case.
Judgment is reserved.”
4. It is true mat Court must record its satisfaction for grant of decree of divorce on the basis of the pleadings of the parties and the evidence taken therein. In the present case where either view was possible and the learned Trial Court, upon appreciation of the evidence came to the conclusion that the appellant was not entitled to relief claimed for; but the cumulative effect of the evidence led by the appellant and in view of the subsequent conduct of the parties certainly tilts the case in favour of the appellant. Certain serious allegations were made by the wife against her husband, even stating that he had put kerosene oil on her but had admitted that neither the matter was reported to the Panchayat nor was it reported to the police. This version of the wife was not believed by the Court below. Such wild allegations which are found to be incorrect would amount to cruelty by itself.
5. The evidence led by the appellant did establish the ground of desertion because admittedly the parties have not co-habi ted together for quite some time and in any case more than three years. The marriage has irretrievably broken down. There is no possibility of reconciliation. In fact, the parties have actually settled all their disputes and decided to concede the appeal. During the course of hearing, it was also brought to the notice of the Court that wife has already received definite sum in lieu of permanent alimony and maintenance and all other claims.
6. In view of the peculiar facts without intending to lay down any precedent, it will be in the interest of justice that the present appeal is accepted.
7. Consequently, this appeal is accepted, the judgment and decree of the learned Trial Court dated 4.8.1997 is set aside. The marriage between Hari Krishan and Neelam Rani is hereby dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty and more particularly keeping in view the above said facts. Decree be drawn in terms thereof.