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Calcutta High Court says wife demanding to live separately with husband does not always amount to cruelty, severity of marital ties

The Calcutta High Court has ruled that mere demand by a wife to live separately with husband 

cannot be said to be a cruelty of such degree which would invite the marital tie to be severed.

Dismissing a husband’s petition for divorce, the Division Bench of Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Prasenjit Biswas last week observed that there may be circumstances for such demand which cannot be said to be unreasonable.

It said both husband and wife have reciprocal obligations to understand the emotions and the circumstances that gave rise to such a demand.

Two individuals brought up in different environments may at times have conflicting views, but those were always regarded as vagaries of life as well as normal wear and tear of the marital relationship, it added.

Noting that every conflict between the spouses may not amount to tantamount to cruelty, the Division Bench said the same was decided on a high degree of evidence

A marital relationship depended on the trust and confidence reposed in each other by the spouses, it added. 

A man had moved the High Court alleging cruelty and desertion by his wife. The petitioner had claimed that his wife often picked quarrels with him, demanded a separate living and did not cook food for him.

As per the petition, the wife tried to control her husband’s finances and eventually deserted him by leaving the matrimonial house in 2013.

Denying all these allegations, the woman stated that she had moved to her parental house to pursue her education. She submitted that she was later asked to live in her father-in-law’s house in Jharkhand, while her husband remained in Kolkata. She apprised the High Court that respected this wish.

The woman alleged that her husband had an extramarital affair with a colleague and was living with the said lady in Kolkata. Despite this, the woman said she was ready to cohabit with him.

The High Court noted that the husband failed to prove his allegations against the wife and dismissed the divorce petition.

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