New Delhi: “No family is totally devoid of clashes among members constituting it. It is common for elders to scold and sometimes abuse youngsters. Making a daughter in law to do the house-hold/domestic work is also not something unusual.”
The Kerala High Court made these observations last week while accepting a man’s plea to dissolve his marriage on the ground that his wife forced him to stay away from his mother, causing him mental agony and subjecting him to mental cruelty.
A two-judge bench led by Justice A.M. Shaffique also blamed the wife’s persistence to stay separately for the man turning into a drunkard.
“Evidence indicates that the respondent and the petitioner’s mother were not cordial and clashes were frequent. Therefore, it is natural for the petitioner to be a scapegoat of the in-differences. It is also natural for a wife in that scenario to make persistent effort to constrain her husband to be separated from the family life and that would undoubtedly be torturous for him,” the court said.
“In the case on hand the petitioner’s turning to be a drunkard can only be taken as the natural outcome of the pressure exerted on him by the respondent to have a separate residence to the exclusion of the petitioner’s mother,” the court added.
Daughter-in-law was made to do household work
The Kerala High Court order came on an appeal filed by the husband against a family court’s decision rejecting his plea for divorce.
His petition gave out details of how his wife allegedly insulted him in public and undermined him, stating he is not a fit person to be her husband.
The wife refuted the allegation of cruelty. She accused her mother-in-law of ill-treating her and claimed the latter encouraged the husband to return home late in “intoxicated state”. The wife said she was constrained to leave the matrimonial home, but was willing to join her husband, provided he stopped being an alcoholic.
On going through the submissions filed by both sides and also the statements recorded before the lower court, the high court held a view that the wife had, in particular, disclosed her dislike for the mother-in-law because she was made to do household work by her.
“Making a daughter-in-law to do the house-hold/domestic work is also not something unusual. From the evidence tendered by the respondent (wife), it is all the more clear that the aforestated factors formed the basis for her ill-will to the petitioner’s (husband) mother,” the bench observed.
Irretrievable breakdown of marriage
According to the husband, the wife left the matrimonial home on 20 February 2011 for her parental home, and has not returned. Even he did not make an effort to get her back.
“From the above conduct of the petitioner (husband) admitted by the respondent (wife), it is evidenced that the torture suffered by him amidst the respondent and his mother was of much gravity and something unbearable for him,” said the court.
After noticing the conduct of both parties the court concluded it was difficult for the two to resume the matrimonial relationship.
“Not even a single attempt was made from the side of the respondent to join the petitioner to continue the marital life. Therefore, the case on hand is also one, wherein the marital relationship among the parties have become irretrievably broken,” held the bench.