Indian Court Grants Divorce to a Man Whose Wife Refused “Sindoor” and Wear Conch Shell Bangle

Representative image (Bodhisattva Dasgupta via Wikimedia Commons)
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Guwahati–The Gauhati High Court has granted divorce to a man whose wife refused to abide by Hindu culture prevalent in eastern part of the country, that of smearing vermilion on her head and wearing conch shell bangle.

In an observation of a kind, the top court in Assam said that the reluctance to wear ‘shankha’ (conch shell bangle) and ‘sindoor’ (vermillion) as have been the tradition and custom among the Hindu married woman, the petitioner wife’s action amounted to a kind of rejection to accept the marriage.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ajai Lamba and Justice Soumitra Saikia observed “under the custom of Hindu marriage, a lady who has entered into marriage according to Hindu rituals and customs, and which has not been denied by the respondent (woman) in her evidence, her refusal to wear shankha and sindoor’ would project her to be unmarried and/or signify her refusal to accept the marriage with the appellant (man).

“Such categorical stand of the respondent points to the clear intention of the respondent that she is unwilling to continue her conjugal life with the appellant.

“Under such circumstances compelling the appellant husband to continue to be in matrimony with the respondent wife may be construed to be harassment inflicted by the respondent upon the appellant and his family members.

“This evidence although available before the Family Court during the evidence adduced, was not taken into account during the discussion in the impugned judgment. As such the Family Court erred in evaluating the evidence in the proper perspective,” the High Court in its 12-page order said.

According to a High Court official on Tuesday, after hearing a marital petition, earlier filed by a man, the Division Bench on June 19 set aside the order of the Family Court which had rejected the man’s appeal for divorce on the grounds that no cruelty was found on the part of the woman (wife) against him. The man had appealed in the high court against the family court’s order.

The High Court said: “Attempts to reconcile between the man (husband) and woman (wife) by this Court also did not yield any positive response and considering the fact that the appellant and the respondent have remained separately since June 30, 2013, it is evident that there will be no purpose served to keep the marriage alive as there was no matrimonial harmony between the parties to be reached.”

The couple had married on February 17, 2012, but soon they started quarrelling and the woman has been refusing to live with the man along with his family members causing their separate staying since June 30, 2013.

The woman subsequently had lodged several complaints with the police against her husband and his family members accusing them of torturing her, but the claim was not sustained by the court.

The Family Court completely ignored the fact that the woman compelled and prevented her husband from performing his statutory duties towards his aged mother under the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, the High Court judges said.

“Such evidence is sufficient to be construed as an act of cruelty,” the High Court said. (IANS)


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