Wife Leaves Marital Home due to Husband Keeping Concubine does not amount to  Desertion: Chhattisgarh HC

Wife Leaves Marital Home due to Husband Keeping Concubine does not amount to  Desertion: Chhattisgarh HC

The Chhattisgarh High Court ruled that the wife leaving the marital home due to husband keeping concubine does not amount to  desertion.

Background 

According to the appellant, for the last 25 years the respondent has deserted him without any lawful cause, therefore, he is entitled to get a decree of divorce. The respondent/wife denied the plaint averments and pleaded that she was subjected to physical and mental torture. The appellant kept one lady as his wife and asked the respondent to go away and stay at her parental village. Because of the fact that another lady was kept by the appellant in the house for which the torture was being meted out to respondent she was forced to stay at her parental village.

Arguments 

Advocate Parag Kotecha, appearing for the appellant/husband, contended that without any lawful cause the respondent herself left the company of the appellant for a continuous period of about 25 years prior to presentation of the suit. The respondent was not the legally wedded wife of the appellant which would be evident from the statement and hence the marriage itself from the inception was a nullity. 

Advocate Sachin Singh Rajput, appearing for the respondent/wife, argued that the conduct of the appellant itself would show that the respondent was thrown out of the house forcibly as another lady was kept by him in the house. Thus, the respondent started staying at her parental village with her three children.

Decision 

The division bench of Justice Goutam Bhaduri and Justice Rajani Dubey noted that during subsistence of marriage with the respondent, the appellant has kept another lady as his wife. As per the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 keeping another lady during subsistence of first marriage is illegal.

The court said that the appellant kept one lady as concubine; the respondent was subjected to physical and mental cruelty; and thereafter, she was forced to leave her matrimonial home as such there was reasonable cause for the respondent/wife to stay at the village of her parents though she was not intending to do so and hence it cannot be stated that the desertion was made by the wife.

The court held that no ground for desertion was made out by the appellant/husband. The impugned judgment and decree passed by the Family Court is just and proper warranting no interference of the Court.

Case title: Uttamram v/s Smt. Kayaso Bai

Citation: FAM No.206 of 2017

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