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Keeping Husband And Wife Together Despite Irretrievable Breakdown Of Marriage Amounts To Cruelty: Kerala High Court 

Sreedharan V/S Ahsa [Mat.Appeal No. 578 Of 2015]

The Kerala High Court ruled that keeping husband and wife together despite irretrievable breakdown of marriage amounts to cruelty.

The division bench of Justice A.Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Sophy Thomas said that the constant bickering in marital life, lack of mutual respect, detachment etc. would make the reconciliation impossible.

The court found nothing in the case which would ensure that the parties to the marriage stay together. 

The court said that in these types of cases, the parties are trying the court and not the court trying the parties. The appellant has now become a senior citizen. The original petition was filed for divorce in the year 2011. Many sunsets have re-dawn but life is yet to reset. Attempts for settlement have failed. The husband offered Rs.10 lakhs and ten cents of land to the respondent to secure her life.

Counsel for the respondent submitted that the respondent has no objection in continuing with the appellant and therefore, this case cannot be treated as a fit case where the Court can hold that the marriage has become irrecoverably broken down. 

The marriage between the parties was on 29.01.2002 in accordance with the Hindu religious rites and ceremonies. Two children were born in wedlock. The children are now major. The Appellant-husband was in Muscat and now came down to India and settled. The allegation of cruelty has been narrated in the pleadings. The appellant alleges that the respondent-wife hails from a poor family and was more interested in extracting money from him. The appellant also alleged that the respondent had an illicit relationship with the husband of her sister. 

It was observed by the court that If they cannot live together even by sharing residence for more than a decade, it can be presumed that sense is lost on both. The idea of no fault divorce is making the people realise that there is a sensible way of parting on mutually agreed terms. Withholding mutual consent in a failed marriage is nothing but cruelty. 

It was also observed that it realised that this fight is not for any justifiable cause but to win the egos and to wreak vengeance against the other spouse.

The bench directed the appellant to pay a sum of Rs.10 Lakhs towards permanent alimony and 10 cents of land to the respondent. The appellant-husband is directed to produce the sketch earmarking the ten cents of land within a period of one week. The respondent shall signify before this Court regarding her willingness to accept the 10 cents of land offered by her husband within a further period of one week.

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