The Allahabad High Court has dissolved a marriage, emphasising the significance of individual happiness over forcing a couple to live together.
The decision came on Tuesday on a first appeal filed by Ashok Jha, the husband, challenging the rejection of his petition for divorce by the principal judge of the family court in Ghaziabad on November 7, 2019.
The division bench, comprising Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh and Justice Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal, found that compelling a couple to live together was more prejudicial to public interest than the dissolution of the marriage.
The case revolved around allegations of cruelty suffered by the husband and the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Both parties had levelled accusations against each other, ranging from infidelity to false criminal complaints, and they had been living separately for over a decade.
The court took into account the numerous complaints filed by the wife against her husband, as well as his counterclaims. It was evident that every effort had been made to harass and torment him, with no inclination for reconciliation on the part of the wife.
The court cited legal precedents, including the case of Naveen Kohli Vs Neelu Kohli (2006) (4) SCC 558, which established that filing false complaints against a spouse amounted to cruelty.
In the backdrop of this complex situation, the court dissolved the marriage, recognising both the cruelty suffered by the husband and the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship.
Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh commented on the case, saying, “Forcing the parties to live together despite their intense animosity towards each other will amount to cruelty.”
The verdict sets a significant precedent, emphasising the importance of protecting individuals from marital suffering and respecting their right to choose their own path to happiness.