Decided on November 06,2003



Joytosh Banerjee, J. - (1.)1. This appeal is directed against the Matrimonial Suit No. 65 of 1987, by which the aforesaid Matrimonial Suit was dismissed on 9.1.95 by the 2nd Additional District Judge, Howrah.
(2.)The husband as the petitioner filed the matrimonial suit before the Court below alleging, inter alia, that the respondent was his wife and their marriage had been solemnized according to Hindu Rites on 31st January, 1978 at the then residence of the respondent's father at 44/2/1, Khetra Banerji Lane, P. S. Shibpur, Howrah. After the solemnization of the marriage, the parties lived together as husband and wife at their matrimonial home at 4, Baishnabpara Lane, Howrah-1 till 26th of March, 1984 and a female child was born of the lawful wedlock of the parties on or about 12th December, 1978. At the time of his marriage, the petitioner was posted at Jhargram in the district of Midnapore and he used to attend his place of work from his residence at Howrah. He was transferred to Tribeni in the district of Hooghly in or about the middle of the year, 1979. Shortly after his transfer to Tribeni the respondent proposed to the petitioner that they should live separately from the petitioner's mother on the ground that the petitioner's mother did not allow her to visit her parents' house frequently. The petitioner however, expressed his inability to agree to her said proposal and tried to persuade her to adjust herself with his mother. But instead of making any serious attempt for adjusting herself with the mother of the petitioner, the respondent started picking up quarrels with her on flimsy pretexts. She seldom lent her helping hand to her mother-in-law, in the household work of the family and she often used to go away to her parents' house and stayed there for months together without the consent and against the wishes of the petitioner. It is further alleged that the respondent/wife's behaviour towards the petitioner was cold, rude, cruel and offensive. She took pleasure in hurting the feelings of the petitioner by taunting him for the lowly position of a clerk. It is further alleged that towards the middle of January, 1984, the respondent went away from the matrimonial home to her parents' house without taking any prior consent of the petitioner. At that time, she also took the child with her. She returned alone to the matrimonial home in the evening on the 25th March, 1984. In the morning of the next day, i.e., the 26th of March, 1984, the petitioner's mother having become temporarily indisposed, the respondent was asked by the mother-in-law to take up the work of cooking for the day. But she flatly refused to do so, telling the mother-in-law that she was not a cook or maid-servant of the family- She also started abusing the mother-in-law. The petitioner took strong exception against such conduct of the respondent and asked her to behave properly. At this, the respondent flared up and clearly disclosed that she did not care to live in the family of the petitioner like a maid servant and thereafter left the house with all her ornaments and jewelleries in a huff. Since that day, the respondent has been residing at her parents' house, inspite of the repeated attempts from the side of the petitioner to persuade the respondent to return to him. In this background, the petitioner has prayed for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty and desertion by the respondent.
(3.)The respondent-wife has contested the suit on a written statement. Besides denying material allegations made in the petition, it is contended by the respondent that the mother of the petitioner used to quarrel and misbehave with the respondent-wife, without any reason during her stay at the house of the petitioner. Even the sisters of the petitioner except Arati Bhattacharjee and their respective husbands used to ill-treat the respondent as she refused to drink and dance with them when they would come to the house of the petitioner. Such refusal by the respondent also made the petitioner's mother angry. The petitioner instead of honouring and protecting the prestige of the respondent used to persuade the respondent to drink and dance with his sisters and husbands of the sisters and the petitioner had to, in the circumstances bear such peculiar situation silently. It is further alleged that on 26.3.1984, the respondent was driven out from the house of the petitioner without any cause and the petitioner at that time threatened the respondent that she would be killed if she made any attempt to return from her father's house. Since then, the petitioner did not arrange for maintenance of the respondent. Even he did not pay any amount to the respondent for meeting expenses of the daughter. In this background, the respondent was compelled to file a case under section 125 Cr.P.C. in the Court of C.J.M., Howrah for the purpose of getting maintenance. It is the contention of the respondent-wife that in the facts and circumstances, the petitioner is not entitled to get a decree of divorce as prayed for.

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