Payal Sharma vs Umesh Sharma

F.A.(MAT) No. 4 of 2022

Chhattisgarh High Court:

A division bench consisting of Goutam Bhaduri* and Sanjay S. Agrawal, JJ., held that the wife (petitioner) was entitled to a divorce decree and that the marriage dated 02-02-2006 was dissolved. The division bench also held that the wife was entitled to maintenance payments from the husband (respondent), in an appeal against the Family Court, Raigarh’s decision to dismiss the wife’s application for a divorce based on cruelty.


One boy and one daughter were born into the marriage between the petitioner and respondent in the present case on February 2, 2006. The wife said that her husband used to abuse her and sell every item in the house as a result of his excessive alcohol consumption. The wife went on to say that her brother provided for the family’s everyday necessities as well as the children’s tuition.

The family’s situation worsened as a result of the husband’s heavy drinking habits and lack of action. He even hit his wife despite being told to go to work. The woman further claimed that on May 26, 2016, she was beaten and mistreated by her husband, forcing her to move in with her two kids at her parents’ house.

The wife then claimed that she had filed for divorce, but that throughout the process, her husband had given her a promise that he would stop drinking and change the way he behaved. As a result, the petitioner pulled it. But after the petition was withdrawn, the husband’s actions worsened. When the wife asked for the children’s tuition, he refused to pay and instead physically and verbally abused her. After the event was reported to the police, the parties reached a settlement and the petitioner agreed to reside at her parent’s house while the respondent made amends. The petitioner eventually submitted a second divorce filing as things did not get better. The Court dismissed the divorce application filed by the petitioner and thus, the petitioner filed an appeal before the Court.

Analysis, Law, and Decision

The wife’s complaints and the police report she filed were noted by the court, which also cited Samar Ghosh v. Jaya Ghosh, (2007) 4 SCC 511, in its conclusion that the wife’s remarks indicated that many of the cruelty allegations originated from the husband’s excessive drinking. The respondent was ex parte before the Family Court, and the husband had not shown in court despite being served with notice, according to the Court. The Court declared that there was no cross-examination and that the wife’s claims would be deemed to be accepted in the absence of one. The Court went on to say that the respondent, being the father, was unable to escape his obligations towards his children, especially when the wife was not working.

The Court went on to say that the husband neglected his obligations and developed an excessive drinking habit, which negatively impacted the family’s situation and inevitably resulted in mental abuse directed against the wife and the children as well as the entire family. Citing Samar Ghosh v. Jaya Ghosh, (2007) 4 SCC 511, the Court held that the Family Court’s ruling could not be upheld and that the wife was entitled to a divorce decree since she could demonstrate her husband’s mental cruelty. As a result, the Court declared the marriage that began on February 2, 2006, to be dissolved. According to the Court, the purpose of the maintenance grant was to guarantee that the husband’s wife and his children were not left in a state of destitution after the divorce.

Furthermore, the Court determined that the wife was entitled to maintenance from her husband in the amount of Rs. 15,000 per month because the Family Court had not set alimony and the wife had no source of income.

As a result, the Court dismissed the contested decision and granted the appeal.

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