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Marriage can’t be a one-sided affair, both partners equally responsible: Delhi HC

Marriage can’t be a one-sided affair, both partners equally responsible: Delhi HC
May 04
12:41 2020

NEW DELHI: While dissolving a couples marriage on the grounds of cruelty and desertion, the Delhi High Court has ruled that “Marriage is no doubt a sacrament, but it cannot be a one-sided affair” and “both parties to the marriage are equal partners and are entitled to mutual respect, sharing of duties and responsibilities.”

“Every human being has a right to mental peace, happiness and contentment. Marriage is no doubt a sacrament, but it cannot be a one-sided affair. Both parties to the marriage are equal partners and are entitled to mutual respect, sharing of duties and responsibilities, affection, emotional bonding, financial and all other support for the well-being of one another.

“If the relationship is so bitter and lopsided that the welfare and well-being of one is at the immense cost and well-being of the other, there can be no sacrament such as that the appellant/respondent now harps about,” said a division bench of the high court presided over by Justices Hima Kohli and Asha Menon.

The observations came while the court was hearing a plea filed by a man challenging a family court’s decision to dissolve his marriage on the grounds of inflicting cruelty on his wife and deserting her.

While turning down the plea, the court said that it found “no reason to interfere with the decision of the family court of dissolving the marriage between the parties on grounds of cruelty and desertion” and said that the appeal filed by the husband was completely “meritless”.

The court also ruled that this was a typical case that showcased what would amount to cruel behaviour on the part of one spouse to the utter detriment of the other.

The woman, who got married to the petitioner in 1992, approached the family court seeking dissolution of marriage on the grounds of cruelty and desertion and the same was allowed by the court in November last year.

Following which, the petitioner knocked the doors of the Delhi High Court claiming that the woman could not get the benefit of her own wrong as she had left his company without any reason and claimed that the main reason for the differences between them was the disparity in their incomes and education, though she knew about his qualification at the time of marriage.

However, disagreeing with the submissions of the petitioner, the court said, “The material on record goes to amply demonstrate the sincere efforts made by the respondent/petitioner to salvage the marriage and show that she did more than what was her duty, to preserve it. There is nothing to commend the appellant (man).”

The court noted that when the petitioner’s daughter sought her father’s contribution for higher studies under the Domestic Violence Act, the man waited for the court’s order to pay some amount.

“It is indeed to the credit of the respondent/petitioner that presently, the daughter is studying for her PhD in the UK and has done her Masters at ETH, Zurich, Switzerland.

“It may not be incorrect to infer that had he not left the woman in October 2011, it may have resulted in the downward spiralling of the future of their daughter, about whose welfare the petitioner is now showing such concern,” the court noted while dismissing the plea.

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