The Madras High Court confirmed the findings of the Trial Court which had categorically held that the Appellant (wife) has not established any one of the incidents of mental cruelty and she has utterly failed to establish her case of verbal and physical abuse by the Respondent (husband) in public places during the matrimonial life.

Refusing to go into the issue as to whether there was an irretrievable breakdown of marriage or not in the present case, the Bench of Justice R. Vijaykumar observed that "although it was contended by the Appellant that both the parties are living separately for so many years and the divorce could be granted on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage, as the said ground is not one of the grounds available under Divorce Act".

Advocate S. Rajasekar appeared for the Appellant and no one appeared for the Respondent.

In the background, the Appellant (wife) got married to Respondent (Joseph – husband) following Christian ceremonies. The appellant alleged that after birth of their son, the Respondent started doubting her character. It was further alleged that the Respondent used to abused her wife physically and mentally in public places, on the pretext that she was having illicit relationship with the third parties. Traumatized by this mental agony and cruelty, the Appellant prayed for divorce. On the other hand, the Respondent filed a counter contending that he had never abused his wife in public places and the allegations were being made only to separate him from his parents.

The Trial Judge after considering the oral and documentary evidence, found that the wife had not established any one of the ingredients of the mental cruelty and proceeded to dismiss the divorce petition. Hence, present petition by wife.

From the perusal of the oral evidence, the High Court found that the wife has not chosen to examine anyone who relates to the incidents placed on record by the wife in the petition.

If really the wife was abused, physically threatened, and thrown out of the house, she would have immediately lodged a police complaint. In fact, if the wife had been abused and beaten by the husband in the school premises, the wife or school management would have certainly filed a police complaint, added the Court.

Thus, the High Court elucidated that the wife has not explained as to why no complaint was lodged against her husband for the said incidents.

The Bench observed that though the wife had alleged that she was verbally and physically abused by her husband, no other independent witness was examined to prove the same.

Further, the prosecution witness who was examined as the guardian of the wife, has categorically admitted that he is not having personal knowledge about the allegations made in the petition, noted the Bench.

Accordingly, the High Court confirmed the order of the Trial Court dismissing the divorce petition.

Cause Title: Esabella Mary v. Joseph Siril

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