A local court at Mapusa in Goa has directed a husband to pay his estranged wife Rs 25 lakh as permanent maintenance within three months. The court order came after 17-years of separation and the marriage has now been dissolved.
The marriage between the couple had lasted only for around five months when the wife was asked to leave the matrimonial house.
The husband in his defense had contended that she did not disclose to him at the time of marriage that she had a cyst. He further stated that he wouldn’t have consented to the marriage in the first place if he was been made aware of the same.
The court found behaviour of the husband irresponsible and said,
The conduct of the petitioner (husband) of discarding the respondent (wife) at the very initial stage and not providing her any medical help for curing the cyst indicates high-handed, indifferent and irresponsible behaviour of the petitioner. In the opinion of this court, the respondent has to be provided permanent maintenance.
Judge Narayan S Amonkar, senior civil judge, Mapusa went on to add,
The evidence revealed that the husband has not acted as a prudent man.
The court also noted that Article 20(3) of Law of Marriages says that a marriage can be annulled only if there exists irremediable and previous physical defect, and added that the petitioner husband in this case failed to prove that the cyst of the respondent was incurable. The court was also of the view that the husband’s action had tarnished his wife’s image in society. The court remarked,
He has not understood the respondent’s feelings and has not cared for her well-being. He has not reposed any trust in respondent and made no efforts to provide medical treatment to her for curing of cyst and facilitating her to conceive. The petitioner took the extreme view that the respondent will not conceive.
It added that the husband caused immense mental agony to his wife which affected her physically, emotionally, financially and socially.
The court also held that the woman’s prospect of remarriage was bleak and her life was ruined as she was contesting this litigation for the last over 17 years. The court also said that the petitioner husband’s behaviour was not rational.
Concluding the matter the court said,
There is no report of the medical expert produced on record stating that on account of the cyst respondent would have not conceived. The medical report produced before this court does not indicate that the cyst was of such a magnitude that respondent could have not conceived at all.
- As a third person, the husband may look evil to ask his legally wedded wife to leave the home when he learnt of her medical problem
- However, not being transparent with husband and his family prior to marriage is also not fair from the woman’s side
- Surely, the man could have also taken effort to get his wife medically operated
- The couple has been fighting this battle since 17-long-years
- Both could have amicably settled the matter back then and moved on with their respective lives
- Presently, court has dissolved this dead alliance, but also feels that by awarding Rs 25 lakh to the woman, justice would be met
- A marriage that lasted for only 5-months could have been annulled where both parties could have started their new journeys
- What if the woman was not married at all? Why do we treat divorced women (without children) as crippled? How did she survive for 17-years without maintenance?
- Unless ‘settlements’ in marriage and divorce are delinked from money, meaningless court battles will drag on forever
- Courts must penalise husband or wife, whoever is at fault, within a specified time, so that ego tussles can stop flooding courts and precious time of judiciary could be put to better use in the interest of society
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