It is the duty of the family members of her matrimonial home to provide wife with some privacy

In MAT. APP. (F.C.) No.: 45/2011 which was decided on 21.09.2016 the Hon'ble Delhi High Court has held that "when a woman enters into matrimony, it is the duty of the family members of her matrimonial home to provide her with some privacy".

This appeal has been preferred by the appellant husband against the order of the Family Court, Rohini, Delhi, dated 12.08.2010 whereby his petition for dissolution of marriage under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act (hereafter "the Act") was dismissed.

The petition for divorce was filed by the appellant on the ground of cruelty, alleging that the respondent wife was pressurizing him to setup a separate home as she did not want to live in a joint family. The appellant worked as a labourer and it is his contention that owing to limited financial means it was not possible for him to set up a separate independent household. It is further contended that despite several attempts to explain the difficulty of setting up a separate household, the respondent refused to cooperate and kept pressurizing the appellant. It is argued that the respondent became overbearing and abusive and also started misbehaving, not only with the appellant but also with his family members. The respondent would get aggressive and on several occasions had even beaten him. She also refused to do the household chores and threatened to implicate him and his family members in false criminal cases. The respondent continued her atrocities against the appellant and his family and on 21.01.2004, left the matrimonial home without giving any reasons. The appellant received a notice from CAW Cell (Crime Against Women Cell) on 30.03.2005. A false complaint with Mahila Ayog (Delhi Commission of Women) was also filed by the wife.

In her Written Statement the Respondent Wife contends that the appellant had raised a demand of 1 lakh as well as a motor cycle and when she could not make good of these demands, she was turned out of the matrimonial home; she made efforts for reconciliation, but to no avail. It is also contended that she was sent back to her parental home when she was in family-way and all the delivery expenses were borne by her parents.

The Family Court found that the husband had failed to discharge the burden placed upon him and had failed to prove that the respondent had committed cruelty of such nature which warranted a decree of divorce. It was also observed that the husband had failed to prove that his wife had deserted him for a continuous period of two years and dismissed the petition.

The impugned order is challenged by the appellant before this Court on the grounds that the learned Judge has failed to take note of the unrebutted statements of his witnesses and that there was no reason to disbelieve their testimonies.

The Court held "Privacy is a fundamental human right. So when a woman enters into matrimony, it is the duty of the family members of her matrimonial home to provide her with some privacy. There is no evidential backing by the appellant or his family members showing that they had provided requisite privacy to the respondent. The Family Court was therefore correct in holding that such demand was not unreasonable and as such did not constitute cruelty".