Monday, May 23, 2022

Chhattisgarh High Court grants divorce to husband on ground of cruelty after wife found to be adulterous

The Chhattisgarh High Court recently granted a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty under Section 13 (1)(i) of the Hindu Marriage Act to a husband who alleged that his wife was leading an adulterous life.

It was noted that after apparently reconciling their differences and deciding to co-habit with each other after a long hiatus, the couple lived together hardly for 24 days, but the wife was found to be pregnant for over 40 days.

"It is, thus, apparent that after the alleged marriage, she had participated in sexual intercourse with someone else other than her husband, else she could not have carried such a pregnancy. It is true the husband didn't opt for a DNA test and didn't raise the contention in the proceedings filed by his wife seeking maintenance. But, merely on this ground, the material fact cannot be overlooked and it cannot be held that she was not leading an adulterous life, as held by the Family Court," the Bench held.

The judges further noted that the marriage between the couple has irretrievably broken down, and therefore, it is dead for all purposes and cannot be revived. Therefore, the Court granted a decree of divorce to the husband under Section 13 (1)(i) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

The Bench further noted that prior to the couple's 24 days living together, the husband was bed-ridden after suffering a leg fracture.

"Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not postulated where the human relationship is involved and eyewitnesses are difficult to obtain and thus direct evidence to prove adultery is not possible and has to be inferred from circumstances which exclude any presumption of innocence in favour of the person against whom it is alleged. In view thereof, it is evident that the wife had sexual intercourse with someone else other than her husband and he is, therefore, entitled to a decree for dissolution of marriage on the ground enumerated under Section 13 (1) (i) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955," the bench held.

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