This is a December 2015 order by Supreme Court where the apex court ruled mutual consent divorce cannot be permitted when wife is terminally ill. According to top court, the petition can be reconsidered only when the wife fully recovers.
A mutual divorce application was rejected by the bench led by Justice M Y Eqbal after learning that the wife was in the later stages of cancer and required emergency medical attention. The lady, on the other hand, had already consented to the divorce after her husband agreed to pay her Rs 12.5 lakh in alimony.
While refusing to proceed with the case, the husband was also ordered to pay Rs 5 lakh to his wife for her treatment, and also the court agreed to reconsider the divorce application once the woman heals from her illness.
While passing the judgement, the court advised how husbands must stand by their wives in their difficult times as in Hinduism, a wife considers her husband as God. The bench quoted:
Hindu marriage is a sacred and holy union of husband and wife by virtue of which the wife is completely transplanted in the household of her husband and takes a new birth. It is a combination of bone to bone and flesh to flesh.
To a Hindu wife her husband is her God and her life becomes one of the selfless service and profound dedication to her husband. She not only shares the life and love, but the joys and sorrows, the troubles and tribulation of her husband and becomes an integral part of her husband’s life and activities.
Adding further the court said,
It is evident that the wife needs sufficient amount of money for the treatment of breast cancer. Hence, it cannot be ruled out that in order to save her life by getting money, she agreed for a settlement of dissolution of marriage.
Author: Shreya Bhandari is a 3rd year Bachelors of Journalism student and currently working as an intern with MDO.
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