The Delhi High Court in its order dated December 12, 2023 dismissed a divorce plea by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. The Family Court had earlier dismissed this plea in 2016, which has been upheld by the Delhi High Court today.
Omar Abdullah got married to Payal Nath on September 1, 1994. The couple have two sons (both adults as on date).
Omar Abdullah claimed that his marriage had broken down irretrievably and that he had not enjoyed conjugal relationship since the year 2007. Parties have been living separately since the year 2009.
Omar moved family court in Delhi seeking divorce on the grounds that the relationship had “irretrievably broken down”. He also sought divorce on the grounds of cruelty and desertion by his wife.
On August 30, 2016, the family court had refused to grant him divorce, observing that that there were no sufficient grounds to prove cruelty or desertion by the wife, neither the marriage could have been considered to have broken down irretrievably.
Delhi High Court
A division bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva and Justice Vikas Mahajan dismissed Omar Abdullah’s divorce plea today while upholding Family Court order dated August 2016.
The bench said that it finds no infirmity in the family court order which refused to grant him divorce. The High Court also agreed to the Family Court order terming Omar’s allegations of cruelty by wife as ‘vague‘. Dismissing the appeal, the bench concluded:
We find no merit in the appeal. The same is dismissed.
Maintenance To Wife, Adult Sons
In April 2018, the family court had awarded Rs 75,000 per month interim maintenance to the estranged wife. Earlier in September this year, a single judge had directed the petitioner husband to enhance the interim maintenance to Rs 1,50,000 per month to the respondent wife.
Taking into account Omar Abdullah’s financial capacity, the Delhi High Court had also ordered the father to pay Rs 60,000 per month (per son) for their education eventhough they were majors and not entitled to maintenance as per law.
Voice For Men India Take:
- Omar Abdullah is a political and controversial figure in the current environment
- However, Voice For Men India will dissect this case without any prejudice, bias or any ideological beliefs that some of our readers may hold
- Parties have been living separately since 14-years and the marriage is dead for all practical reasons
- Divorce in India can only be granted if one spouse is able to prove fault – the listed parameters against the other (namely, cruelty and desertion in this case)
- However, in most contested divorce cases, it is next to impossible to prove mental or physical cruelty unless there are hard evidences of what happened between a couple in four corners of the home
- Sadly, these cases end up as ego battles, where Courts only conclude whether the nature of these allegations were proven or not
- Even where there is no hope of parties cohabiting again, the Family Courts and High Court do not have the power to dissolve such dead marriages
- Irretrievable Breakdown in Marriage can only and only be decided by Supreme Court of India currently, using their powers under Article 142 of the Constitution
- However, the ground realities demonstrate that by the time a contested divorce case reaches top court, parties has wasted their prime years of life (most often 15-20 years) and divorce granted by apex court then, is merely a piece of paper
- With regards to the maintenance, whoever has the capacity must pay and support the other spouse and children. The biggest challenge why men manipulate and stop such payments is because of the lack of fixed timeline to do so
- Divorce cases drag on for decades in India, and interim maintenance has to be paid until final outcome without any relief whatsoever to the petitioner husband
- The best solution to these matrimonial cases is that India frames a fixed duration to conclude all contested cases, after which parties can be granted divorce irrespective of the other not in agreement of the same
- Simultaneously, financial settlements must happen looking at duration in marriage, age of children and shared parenting agreements so that both parties can move on and start afresh while they are young
- If this is the plight of a politician who can afford India’s best legal acumen, imagine what common men go through fighting these ego battles for decades
Omar Abdullah Divorce Case | Estranged Wife Payal Nath Abdullah Demanded Rs 15 Lakh Per Month As Interim Maintenance (2016 Interview)
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Delhi HC Dismisses #OmarAbdullah's Divorce Plea; Parties Separated Since 14-Years
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) December 12, 2023
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