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Refusing shankha-sindoor shows disregard for marriage: Guwahati High Court

The Gauhati High Court has granted divorce to a man whose wife refused to wear ‘sakha and sindur’ (conch bangle and

Guwahati High Court

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  1 July 2020 2:54 AM GMT

HC grants divorce

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court has granted divorce to a man whose wife refused to wear 'sakha and sindur' (conch bangle and vermilion) as prevalent among the Hindus.

In an observation of a kind, the top court in Assam observed that the reluctance to wear 'shankha' (conch bangle) and 'sindoor' (vermillion) as have been the tradition and custom among the Hindu married woman, the petitioner wife's action amounts to a kind of rejection to accept the marriage.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ajai Lamba and Justice Soumitra Saikia observed "under the custom of Hindu marriage, a lady who has entered into marriage according to Hindu rituals and customs, and which has not been denied by the respondent (woman) in her evidence, her refusal to wear shankha and sindoor' would project her to be unmarried and/or signify her refusal to accept the marriage with the appellant (man). Such categorical stand of the respondent points to the clear intention of the respondent that she is unwilling to continue her conjugal life with the appellant. Under such circumstances compelling the appellant husband to continue to be in matrimony with the respondent wife may be construed to be harassment inflicted by the respondent upon the appellant and his family members. This evidence although available before the Family Court during the evidence adduced, was not taken into account during the discussion in the impugned judgment. As such the Family Court erred in evaluating the evidence in the proper perspective," the High Court said in its order.

According to a High Court official on Tuesday, after hearing a marital petition, the Division Bench on June 19 set aside the order of the Family Court which had rejected the man's appeal for divorce on the grounds that no cruelty was found on the part of the woman (wife) against him. The man had appealed in the high court against the family court's order.

The High Court said: "Attempts to reconcile between the appellant by this court also did not yield any positive response and considering the fact that the appellant and the respondent have remained separately since June 30, 2013, it is evident that there will be no purpose served to keep the marriage alive as there was no matrimonial harmony between the parties to be reached."

The couple had married on February 17, 2012, and they soon started quarreling. The woman subsequently had lodged several complaints with the police against her husband and his family members accusing them of torturing her, but the claim was not sustained by the court.

Setting aside the Family Court's judgement the High Court said, "It is seen that the Family Court completely ignored the fact brought out during the evidence that the respondent compelled and prevented the appellant from performing his statutory duties towards his aged mother under the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. Such evidence is sufficient to be construed as an act of cruelty."

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