The HC division bench of Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Prasenjit Biswas said in a September 12 judgment, “The mindset of the husband is evident, that he wanted his wife to remain a passive companion having no freedom of mind nor to take any decision of her life without his permission or concurrence.
Such mindset cannot be accepted in a changing behaviour of society nor is the wife considered to be subservient to her husband incapable of taking any independent decision of her life. It appears that both parties are educated and if the wife decided to sell the property in her name without seeking the approval of her husband, it shall not constitute cruelty.”
In 2005, 15 years after the marriage was registered and 12 years after the birth of the couple’s daughter, the wife sold off a Durgapur property bought by the husband in her name. The HC observed that the husband at no point submitted any iota of evidence to show that he paid the consideration money to his wife to buy the property, but even if he had, it would not change the fact that the property was indisputably in the wife’s name, and so, her selling it without informing him would not amount to cruelty.
While the husband had earlier submitted to the trial court that he suffered desertion from the wife, he married another woman in 2006. While his ex-wife, a homemaker without income, made every effort to restore the marriage, her husband eventually stopped bearing her expenses and the educational expenses of the daughter.
The HC observed the intention of the husband was clear even though he was married to his ex-wife. “It would not be wrong to presume that he wanted to get rid of the present appellant and establish a relationship with the said lady,” observed the court.
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