K. G. Balakrishnan, J. -
(2.)The husband who had been unsuccessfully fighting litigation for the past more than 15 years for snapping his marital ties with the respondent wife is the appellant before us. The appellant is double doctorate holder - one in Mathematics from Andhra University and another from U.S.A. and had been working in United States during the relevant period. The respondent is a post-graduate in Home Science and was working as a lecturer in the year 1979. The appellant came to India in 1979 and gave advertisement in the newspaper seeking matrimonial alliance from a suitable bride. The relatives of the respondent responded to the advertisement and there was mutual consultation between the parties, which led to the marriage of the appellant with the respondent on 30-7-1979. After the marriage, the appellant and respondent stayed together for some period and thereafter, the appellant left India for United States. The respondent was asked to join him after having obtained the visa and completing other formalities. The respondent, after a period of six months, joined the appellant in United States. It appears that the marital life of the appellant and the respondent ran into rough whether from the very beginning of their stay in United States. There used to be occasional quarrel between the parties. A daughter, Sandhya, was born to them, on 10-6-1981. In 1982, the appellant, respondent and their daughter Sandhya came to India, but the appellant returned to United States in November, 1982 itself and the respondent joined him only in April, 1983. In January, 1985, the respondent along with her daughter returned to India and it seems that the misunderstanding between the parties deepened and ultimately the appellant filed application for divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 alleging that after the solemnization of their marriage, the respondent treated the appellant with cruelty.
(3.)The respondent contested the proceedings and denied all the allegations made by the appellant in the petition and also made counter-allegations alleging that the appellant was responsible for wrecking the marriage. Parties on either side examined witnesses to substantiate their allegations. The learned Family Court Judge after assessing the rival contentions and the evidence adduced by the parties, came to the conclusion that the respondent had treated the appellant with mental cruelty and, therefore, the appellant was entitled to get a decree for dissolution of marriage. This was challenged by the respondent before the Hon'ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh and the Division Bench of the High Court reversed the decision of the Family Court holding that the appellant was at fault and he had been trying to take advantage of his own wrongs; hence, he was not entitled to get a decree in his favour in view of Section 23(1)(a) of the Hindu Marriage Act. The judgment of the Division Bench is challenged before us.