Keywords: Himachal Pradesh, Divorce, Hindu Marriage Act, Deserting.
The Court was addressing an appeal that challenged a family court’s decision to dismiss the husband’s plea for divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
During the challenge to the family court’s ruling, the husband asserted that he had provided adequate evidence of his wife deserting him.
However, the High Court found that the husband’s claims of cruelty were vague and lacked specific instances. The Court observed that there was no mention or plea of any specific act of cruelty, as the husband simply alleged that his wife displayed a hostile attitude towards him and his family, frequently engaging in quarrels before ultimately leaving the matrimonial home.
The Court emphasized that the Hindu Marriage and Divorce (Himachal Pradesh) Rules, 1982 explicitly require the petition to specify allegations of cruelty with sufficient particularity, including the time, place, and other relevant facts.
Furthermore, the Court pointed out that the only fact established on record was that the wife had been living separately from her husband since 1995.
Even so, the Court found that the issue of desertion was framed wrongly and the “pleading of necessary jurisdictional facts for the ground of desertion were clearly missing in the petition.”
The Court determined that the wife had presented valid reasons for living separately.
To support her decision to reside apart from her husband, the wife informed the family court that her husband had married another woman, resulting in the birth of two sons from that relationship.
The High Court observed that the husband had failed to adequately refute these allegations. Additionally, the wife had presented witnesses before the family court who corroborated her claim of her husband’s second marriage.
Considering this perspective as well, the Court concluded that the claim of desertion was unsubstantiated.
As a result, the husband’s plea for divorce was dismissed, and the family court’s decision was upheld.
Written By- Muskan Vyas, Legal Journalist Intern under Legal Vidhiya