Staying abroad by a spouse doesn’t amount to cruelty or desertion: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court division bench of Justices Ujjwal Bhuyan and Prithviraj Chavan refused to entertain the plea filed by the appellant (husband), under section 13 (1)(ia) and section 13(1)(ib) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 cruelty and desertion respectively, on the context that the respondent (wife) has refused to return India and doesn’t reunite with him.

The court observed that the wife act of settling down in Canada with her son is not an act of selfishness and is not unjustified as it was her husband’s wish to settle down in Canada.

Moreover, the court after observing the respondent’s resume observed that she has a flourishing career there at Canada in a Pharmaceutical company and the husband can rejoin her there.

In it’s order the division bench said that, “This being the status of the respondent (wife), it would not be justified, in any way, expecting her to return to this country when she is already well settled over there…The desire of the respondent(wife) to settle in Canada is actuated by the fact that it was the appellant (husband) who had first consciously decided to settle in the foreign country. As such, the wish of the respondent cannot be branded as an act of selfishness or the act on her part cannot be said to be unjustified. Thus, in no way, it could be said to be cruelty meted out to the appellant by the deserting spouse,”.

At the end the court keeping in mind the judgement of Samar Ghosh v. Jaya Ghosh said that the relationship between the couple hadn’t deteriorated to such an extent that it’s impossible for them to reunite.

Moreover, the husband has also not submitted any medicial certificates to ratify his claim of ill health.

Therefore, the bench at last refused to entertain the plea and said that, “We hope that there is still scope for the couple to restore the bond at least for the sake of their child..,”.

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