When insistence by one to retain the matrimonial bond could be denied?

In MAT.APP. (F.C.) 36/2014 and MAT.APP.(F.C.) 57/2014 decided on 21.102016 by the Delhi High Court the Court held that "In cases of mutual bickering between spouses leading to remonstration and targeting each other mentally, insistence by one to retain the matrimonial bond would be a relevant factor to decide on the issue of cruelty".

Wife is aggrieved by the decision dated January 31, 2014 dismissing HMA No.489/2012 filed by her seeking restitution of conjugal rights. Husband is aggrieved by a decision of even date dismissing HMA No.141/2012 filed by him seeking decree for divorce on grounds of cruelty. The two decisions dated January 31, 2014 have been authored by the same learned Judge presiding over the Family Court at Dwarka and the evidence led by the parties is the same in the two petitions; one filed by the wife and the other filed by the husband

As for the 2 petitions before the Family Court, written statement filed by Wife in HMA No.141/2012 constitutes the pleadings in the petition filed by her seeking restitution of conjugal rights. And the written statement filed by the Husband in HMA No.489/2012 mirrors case set up by him seeking divorce on ground of cruelty in HMA No.141/2012.

Husband has alleged that the wife had instituted cruelty on him by leaving his company immediately after 2 days of marriage and returning only after a period of one month claiming she was uncomfortable in her matrimonial home because there was no air conditioning in the house and that she did not want to perform household chores, nagging for bringing less money on a trip to Vaishno Devi and taking unilateral decision to abort the fetus.

Wife alleged that the husband had instituted cruelty against her by demanding dowry, being indifferent towards her since the inception of marriage, abusing and beating her thereby causing abortion and then leaving her at her parental home after being instigated by his parents.

The High Court observed that "Evidence establishes that both Sandhya and Manish gave a very serious twist to the unfortunate abortion which Sandhya had. It establishes that both couple have the propensity to twist facts so as to suit their convenience".

It was further observed that "It is thus a case where by exaggerating facts, the couple picked up quarrels imputing allegations against each other. They found excuses to find fault with each other. By their conduct both aggravated the worsening situation. It is a case of mutual cruelty inflicting against each other. Senseless mental torture continued all through when the parties cohabited".

The Court then relied on ratio of precedents stating "where there is evidence that the husband and wife indulged in mutual bickering leading to remonstration and therefrom to the stage where they target each other mentally, insistence by one to retain the matrimonial bond would be a relevant factor to decide on the issue of cruelty, for the reason the obvious intention of said spouse would be to continue with the marriage not to enjoy the bliss thereof but to torment and traumatized each other".

Thus it was ordered that "The marriage between Manish and Sandhya solemnized on March 08, 2011 stands dissolved by passing a decree of divorce. MAT APP (F.C.) 36/2014 filed by Sandhya is dismissed".