Forcing estranged couple to live together would be detrimental: Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court has granted divorce to an estranged husband, observing that forcing a couple to live together is “more prejudicial to public interest than dissolution of marriage”.

The high court set aside a lower court’s judgment by which the husband’s petition for divorce was rejected.

Allowing the first appeal filed by Ashok Jha, the husband, a division bench comprising Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh and Justice Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal observed, “In the present case, both the parties have levelled allegations against each other for not maintaining the sanctity of marriage.”

“They have been living separately for more than 10 years and a number of complaints including the criminal complaints have been filed by the wife against the husband and every effort has been made to harass and torture him,” said the high court.

The court further observed, “Appellant had also filed a case against his wife. Even at this stage, the respondent (wife) is not ready for any conciliation with the appellant. Hence, forcing the parties to live together would be detrimental.”

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The court dissolved the marriage, citing both the cruelty suffered by the husband and the “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage.

The husband had filed the present first appeal challenging the order of principal judge, family court, Ghaziabad dated November 7, 2019, by which his petition for annulling the marriage was rejected.

“The facts of this case clearly establish that both parties have lodged criminal cases against each other and have serious disputes about the properties.

“Apart from this, both parties are also making allegations against each other of having relationships outside of marriage; therefore, forcing them to live together despite their intense hate towards each other will amount to cruelty,” the high court said in its October 13 order.

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