Tamil Nadu

Octogenarian moves High Court seeking divorce

Judge dismayed over rise in cases of marital discord, says ego is prime reason for broken marriages

Justice S. Vaidyanathan of the Madras High Court was taken aback on Tuesday when a case seeking divorce for an 80-year-old ex-serviceman was listed before him.

Suprised at the octogenarian being adamant on obtaining divorce from his estranged wife, with whom he had got married in 1970 and from whom he had separated in 1982, the judge initially wanted to know whether there was any possibility for reunification. When he was told that the aged man from Tiruvannamalai was very particular about getting his marriage nullified, the judge simply admitted the case and ordered notices to the appellant’s wife, now 70 and a mother of three, and a person with whom she reportedly had an illicit affair. Expressing dismay over the rise in marital discord cases, the judge said ego was the prime reason for the rising instances of broken marriages.

On going through the records, the judge found that the appellant as well his wife had accused each other of adultery. While the appellant’s case was that his wife was living an adulterous life and had begotten three children through some other individual, the wife, in turn, had accused the appellant of insisting upon getting divorced only to ensure that his pension, properties and other finances go to a woman with whom he was living illicitly.

He had filed a divorce petition before a district court in Tiruvannamalai in 2007 on two grounds - adultery and desertion. However, when it was taken up for final hearing in 2017, the ex-serviceman gave up the ground of adultery and pressed the ground of desertion alone. The trial court found that the wife separated only because of the illicit relationship between her husband and another woman. “So, there is justifiable reason for R1 (respondent 1- wife) living separately from the petitioner and therefore, the petitioner is not entitled for decree of divorce on the ground of desertion,” the trial court had concluded, pointing out that the witnesses examined on behalf of the ex-serviceman had not supported the allegation of adultery levelled against his wife, and had instead confirmed his own .

Assailing the trial court’s refusal to grant him divorce, the octogenarian contended before the High Court that there could be no scope for reunion between a couple living separately for nearly 38 years, and hence, it was a fit case for grantof divorce.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 1:05:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/octogenarian-moves-high-court-seeking-divorce/article30796125.ece

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