The Gauhati High Court has dismissed review by wife against its order stating that refusal to wear ‘sakha and sindoor’ divulges the wife’s refusal to accept her marriage.
“The circumstances can be considered differently if the wife never wore ‘sindoor’. In such circumstances, the husband would not be justified in pleading not wearing ‘sindoor’ as an incident of cruelty. In this case, however, the circumstances appear to be different. On considering the evidence cumulatively and on a plain reading of the statement given by the wife, it appears that the wife earlier used to wear ‘sindoor’ however when she stopped considering him as her husband, she stopped wearing ‘sindoor’. Surely, when the facts and circumstances and evidence are considered collectively, such a statement given by the wife can also be considered for concluding that the marriage had irrevocably broken. It is in this sense that the evidence has been read.”
The bench observed that when the wife suddenly stops wearing sindoor due to differences between them, it can be considered for concluding that the marriage had irrevocably broken.
Before the same year, the same bench had accepted a matrimonial appeal by husband against the order of a Family Court dismissing his application for divorce. It had held that under the custom of Hindu Marriage, a lady who has entered into marriage according to Hindu rituals and customs, her refusal to wear ‘Sakha and sindoor’ will project her to be unmarried and/or signify her refusal to accept the marriage. The court also stated other reasons for divorce are:-
- Refusal to live with in-laws amounts to cruelty
- Preventing husband from performing statutory duty under Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007
- Filing of unsubstantiated criminal case amounts to cruelty
In this petition the wife had sought review of the is an order in the ground that refusal of wearing sindoor by wife cannot be interpreted cruelty against husband the court dismissed the petition and stated it is not the only reason to allow the husband matrimonial appeal. There are other circumstances which are contemplated by the court.
“It appears that the review applicant is reading the statement in regard to the wife not wearing ‘sindoor’ out of context. The review application has been argued as if this was the only ground considered by the Court for dissolving the marriage, however, as explained hereinabove it is not so. The Court has essentially relied on the circumstance of cruelty caused by initiating false criminal proceedings,” the Court said.
Further court added,
“The other facts and circumstances, as mentioned in the judgment under review, convinced the Court that the marriage was irrevocably broken on account of various acts done by the wife. Learned counsel for the review petitioner, in reference to the facts and circumstances emanating from the evidence available on record, admits that there was no matrimonial harmony left between the husband and wife, and the matrimonial relations had fractured.”
The wife had argued that she already had an agreement with her husband as per which, no family members of either the husband or the wife were to visit them. As such, it could not be said that she had prevented her husband from performing his statutory duties towards his aged mother under Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
Dismissing this argument as well, the Court said:
“Depriving the husband of the company of his family members certainly does not indicate a successful marriage. Rather, it would be an act of cruelty if the husband is bound by an agreement to not meet his family members.”
Case name: SMTI RENU DAS
V. SRI BHASKAR DAS
Case No.: Review.Pet. 73/2020
Coram: HONOURABLE The Cheif Justice and
HONOURABLE Mr Justice Soumita Saikia