High Court (India)

March 07, 2019

Irretrievable breakdown of marriage no ground to grant divorce in a contested action: Calcutta HC

Calcutta HC

A split verdict was given by a division bench of the Calcutta High Court in an appeal filed by a woman against a district court order granting divorce to her husband on grounds of irretrievable breakdown of marriage.

The bench comprising Justice IP Mukerji and Justice Amrita Sinha observed that irretrievable breakdown was not a ground to grant divorce in a contested action. The lower court order that there was sufficient mental torture entitling the husband to obtain a divorce was upheld by Justice Mukerji while mental cruelty was not proven in the case and irretrievable breakdown of marriage could not be held as valid ground for dissolution of marital ties opined Justice Amrita.

Justice Amrita said, "In the absence of legislation, irretrievable breakdown of marriage cannot be held to be a valid ground for dissolution of marital ties. The same will set a very bad precedent and will give rise to a dangerous trend in the society. Unwilling or erring partners without any fault of the other partner will proceed before the Court for obtaining divorce on the said ground. It is true that in modern times, difference of opinion, culture, taste etc. often leads to an acrimonious relationship between the parties. Obtaining divorce by paying a price has become a common phenomenon but the same is possible only if both the parties mutually agree to the same. In the absence of mutual consent, divorce can be granted only on grounds as mentioned in the Act and not otherwise."

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