Smt. Renuka W/O Sangappa Soudi Anr vs Sangappa S/O Ramappa Bagali on 2 March, 2017 Karnatka HC

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Wife stayed away from husband for several years. This is ground for divorce on grounds of cruelty HC said

Living away from your spouse amounts to cruelty and is a ground for divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, the High Court has said. Under the said section, a spouse can seek divorce on grounds of “desertion and cruelty”. The wife had stayed away from her husband for more than two years. Upholding the grant of divorce by a lower court, the HC said,

“The spouse does not care about the deserted one and ceases to live together renouncing his/her marital obligations and duties,”

which amounts to desertion and cruelty. The woman allegedly was not happy with the financial status of her husband and kept away from him. The HC which held that staying away from the husband amounted to cruelty said that there could be no single formula to determine cruelty. “Cruelty can also not be inferred by applying any formula because the said question is to be determined keeping in view the social status of the parties, their financial and other conditions, the atmosphere and the kind of employment or vocation which they carry out would all be important to infer whether on the given set of allegations it has become difficult for the plaintiff to live with the other side and the behaviour of such degree which amounts to the cruelty,” the HC said in its judgement. A lower court had granted divorce in the case filed by the husband in 2013. The woman then approached the HC in 2014. Thereafter of 5 year long battle, The Hon’ble HC judgement came on December 11, 2019. The couple were married in 2002. Six years later, the woman left for her parents’ home and did not return. She filed a petition for maintenance and partition. The husband filed a case for restitution of conjugal rights. She promised to get back to him and the husband withdrew his petition. But she refused to join him. The husband then filed for a divorce. Though the woman filed the petition against the divorce granted in 2014, she did not make an effort to join him,

the HC said. “From 2014-2019 she has not shown any interest in joining her husband. The conduct of the appellant wife is clear that, she has no desire to live with the husband till date of filing of the petition which is a period more than the statutory period of two years,” the HC said

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