'Conjugal rights can’t be claimed after plaint'

Published: 02nd June 2012 12:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2012 12:01 PM   |  A+A-

A woman, who has lodged a police complaint against her husband and in-laws alleging that they have subjected her to cruelty, cannot expect restitution of her conjugal rights, the Madras High Court has observed.

A division bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Venugopal made the observation on May 30 last, while granting divorce to K Ramesh from his wife, daughter of a former MLA.

Based on the complaint for offences under two sections of the IPC and the Dowry Harassment Act, Ramesh and his parents were incarcerated in prison for 22 days. When they applied for advance bail before the arrest, the wife had also gone to the extent of filing an intervening petition opposing grant of any relief to them. They were, however, acquitted of the charges by the Sessions Court/Mahila Court after 22 days of detention in prison, the bench noted.

“All these acts by the wife clearly constituted mental cruelty meted out to the husband and his parents, who admittedly would have undergone a traumatic experience and humiliating affairs in the social circle.  Certainly it would amount to causing cruelty to the husband and fall within the ambit and purview of cruelty and therefore, the husband is entitled to get the relief of divorce,” the bench said after listening to the arguments of senior advocate P Wilson.

When there was a love lost between the husband, his parents and the wife, it was not the prudent course of action for the wife to file a petition seeking restitution of conjugal rights nearly two years after Ramesh filed the petition for divorce and on that basis it was inequitable for the court of law to grant her relief, the bench observed.

The bench added that the marriage between the parties had become emotionally dead and the marriage tie betwen them had irretrievably broken down. Moreover, the element of separation between the parties unerringly pointed out that there was an intention to bring cohabitation parmanently to an end and the differences of opinion between the spouses were not to be considered as temporary passions or the normal wear and tear troubles/problems in family life.

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