Civil Appeal No. 9036 of 2014 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 25056 of 2012). Case: Vidhya Viswanathan Vs Kartik Balakrishnan. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberCivil Appeal No. 9036 of 2014 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 25056 of 2012)
JudgesSudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya and Prafulla C. Pant, JJ.
IssueFamily Courts Act, 1986 - Section 19; Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 - Sections 13(1), 25
Judgement DateSeptember 22, 2014
CourtSupreme Court (India)


Prafulla C. Pant, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. This appeal is directed against the judgment and order dated 13.2.2012 passed in CMA No. 2862 of 2011 by the High Court of Judicature at Madras whereby the said Court has allowed the appeal filed by the husband Under Section 19 of Family Courts Act, 1986, and dissolved the marriage between the parties.

3. Brief facts of the case are that the Appellant, Vidhya Viswanathan got married to the Respondent, Karthik Balakrishnan on 6.4.2005 in Chennai following the Hindu rites. After the marriage, the couple went to London where the Respondent (husband) was working, and they lived there for some eight months. In December, 2005, the Appellant and the Respondent came back to India. However, the Appellant went back to England all alone, and his wife did not go there though her husband had purchased a return ticket for her. On 13.9.2008, the husband filed a petition Under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for dissolution of marriage. It is pleaded by the Respondent (husband) that while the Appellant was with him in London, she used to insult him. It is alleged by him that at times she used to get violent and hysterical. The husband further pleaded that even after his best efforts, the Appellant did not allow him to consummate the marriage. It is further stated that in November, 2005 i.e. about seven months after the marriage the wife (the present Appellant) fell sick, and she was taken to a Medical Specialist who diagnosed that she was suffering from tuberculosis. According to the husband, he provided the best possible treatment to his wife. After the couple came back to India in December, 2005, the wife stayed back in Chennai and continued her treatment. It is alleged by the present Respondent (husband) that his wife used to send him e-mails which were derogatory and in bad taste. It is also alleged by the Respondent that his wife refused to join his company even after his best efforts. With the above pleadings, the present Respondent filed a petition for divorce before the Family Court, Chennai on the ground of cruelty.

4. The Appellant contested the divorce petition, and filed her written statement. She denied the allegations made against her. She stated that she went with her husband to London with great expectations. She alleged that her husband and his mother did not treat her well. She admitted that she came back with her husband to India in December, 2005. She further pleaded that though the Respondent purchased the return ticket for her but he himself instructed not to return to England without his permission. It is also stated by her that marriage could not be consummated for the reason that her husband wanted to have children after one or two years of marriage. She did not deny having sent e-mails but stated that she only responded to the Respondent as he wanted divorce decree based on her consent. She admitted that she received legal notice from her husband but stated that the allegations therein are false. She prayed for counter-claim directing the Respondent to restore the conjugal rights between the parties.

5. On the basis of the pleadings of the parties, the trial court framed the following issues:

(1) Whether the Petitioner/husband is entitled for divorce on the ground of cruelty?

(2) Whether the Respondent/wife is entitled for conjugal rights as prayed for in the counter claim?

6. The parties led their oral and documentary evidence before the trial court. The First Additional Family Court at Chennai, after hearing the parties vide its judgment and order dated 11.8.2011, dismissed the petition for divorce, and allowed the counter-claim of the wife. Aggrieved by said judgment and order the husband (Karthik Balakrishnan) filed an appeal (CMA No. 2862 of 2011 with M.P. No. 1 of 2011) before the High Court. The High Court after hearing the parties allowed the appeal, and set aside the judgment and order dated 11.8.2011 passed by the trial court. The High Court allowed the divorce petition, and...

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