India has decriminalised Adultery in 2018 as a mark of progress for women and their bodily choices, however, a man has no exit from a marriage whatsoever after years and years of battling out in the Court.
In an extremely inhuman judgement that came from the Supreme Court in August 2022, the divorce decree granted in favour of a husband was set aside where the top court orally remarked,
Marital status is important for women in India given the social situation here.
What makes this case fit for a human rights intervention, is that the couple had been living separately since 18-years, despite which the Supreme Court chose to keep the dead relationship legally hanging for life.
A Division Bench of Justices UU Lalit and Ravindra Bhat was considering a petition filed by the appellant wife seeking to challenge a divorce decree granted by the High Court on the ground of desertion, as report by the Livelaw. Case Title: Sulekha vs Pradeep Pachouri SLP(C) No. 5726/2021 IV-C
Advocate Purushotam Sharma Tripathi appearing for the appellant wife, argued that there was no cruelty committed upon the husband, and neither the woman had left her in-laws place on her own will.
It was therefore argued, that the High Court could not have proceeded to pass decree for dissolution of marriage.
The wife also insisted in reuniting with her respondent husband.
Defense by Husband
Advocate Shishir Saxena, who represented the respondent husband refuted all charges and insisted on the divorce to end an already closed chapter in the life of the couple. The lawyer also stated that the husband had turned into a ‘sadhu’ (saint) and could not get back to his matrimonial duties.
High Court Of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior Bench
Citing Irretrievable Breakdown in Marriage, the High Court had granted divorce to the husband stating,
The parties are living separately and therefore, it is necessary to draw a curtain on the same.
The bench emphasised that the couple had been living separately since 18-years and thus it was impossible for any scope of co-habitation between the parties at this stage.
However, the Bench also observed that the concept and status of marriage is quite important, considering the way society treats women. As reported by Livelaw, the Bench expressed,
There’s a lot of importance to marriage for women. And the way they are treated (in the society).
Noting that the husband had turned into a sadhu, Justice Bhat asked,
If you have renounced the world, you have renounced everything, right?
After a short discussion, the bench observed,
We will set aside the divorce decrees. To you (the husband) it will make no difference.
1) Maintenance Amount
The husband was also informed that the amount of Rs 5 lakh, which had already been paid to the appellant wife as per the High Court’s direction, be left as it is. The Supreme Court questioned the husband,
That, 5 lakhs, whatever you have given to her, let her enjoy that. As some kind of ex gratia payment. She has not made any other demands. Is that okay?”
To this the husband replied in negative. The Bench added,
Find a solution, we can’t do that. Unless you come together and do something.
The Supreme Court also added,
…the maintenance in any case, even after divorce, we are supposed to maintain, and the level of maintenance is not a very fancy sum. So therefore, on that aspect, it doesn’t call for any interference.
2) Irretrievable Breakdown In Marriage
Wife’s lawyer further pressed for mediation between the couple stating,
High Court allowed the divorce under the irretrievable breakdown theory of marriage. We suggest mediation.
To this the top Court said,
No mediation. Enough of this.
3) No Divorce Even If Parties Will Never Co-habit Again
The husband’s lawyer once again pleaded,
He’s not ready to live with her.
To this, the Supreme Court reiterated,
No, we are not saying that. We cannot force parties. But let her have the status of being a married woman.
When the husband further said that he had no intentions of remarriage, the Bench added,
You may not remarry. But after your (marriage) status is restored, you cannot marry now.
Supreme Court Order:
According to Mr Tripathi, in view of clear finding by the High Court that the respondent Husband had not suffered any cruelty and that, the appellant wife had not left her in laws place on her own, the High Court could not have proceeded to pass decree for dissolution of marriage.
Seeing force in the submission, we, therefore, allow this appeal, set aside the order passed by the High Court and restore the judgement and decree passed by the Trial Court.
The Court further said that the amount Rs 5 lakhs which was already paid can be taken and adjusted towards the maintenance to be paid to the appellant wife.
- India is slowly losing the track, in its urge to project a Women friendly approach, even if it is meaningless practically
- Women are getting away with their way, often to satisfy their ego in matrimonial battles, while Courts are happy to give into such ridiculous demands, at the cost of husband’s future
- Imagine, if a man would have insisted on no divorce and a wife would want to set herself free, the Court’s reaction and judgement would have been exactly the opposite and ‘highly progressive’ so that both parties could live peacefully
- Our matrimonial laws are nothing less than a scam against the Married Men, which keep them trapped for life, in the name of tradition, culture and societal taboos
- While Married Women, on the other hand, are having the last laugh – they call themselves independent if they want to initiate the divorce, or cry victim and weaker sex if they want to endlessly harass the estranged husband
- No country in the world can progress, with such harsh and inhumane laws
- When people complaint of hashtag #BoycottMarriage, please make them read all these judgements so that the younger Generation is fully aware of the hypocrisy played out by women empowerment champions
"Even If Parties Separated Since 18-Years, We Cannot Grant Divorce To Husband As Marital Status Important For Indian Women" | Supreme Court
"Cant force parties to live together, but let her hv status of married woman. 5L u gave her, let her enjoy that"https://t.co/mrbmSFuyLy
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) September 12, 2022
BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy Discusses Misuse Of Section 498-A IPC In Lok Sabha | Comments?
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