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Removing Mangalsutra Mental Cruelty Of Highest Order Towards Husband

The Madras High Court noted that removing the "thali" (Mangalsutra) by an estranged wife would amount to subjecting the husband to the highest level of mental cruelty and granted the aggrieved man a divorce.

The statement was made recently as a civil miscellaneous appeal from C Sivakumar, a lecturer at a medical college in Erode, was being heard by a division bench of Justices V M Velumani and S Sounthar.

He sought to quash the orders dated June 15, 2016 of the local Family Court, refusing divorce to him.

The woman admitted during the examination that she had taken off her thali chain at the time of separation (sacred chain worn by the wife as a token of having married). Even though she went on to say that she kept the thali and just took off the chain, the act of doing so had importance of its own.

By citing Section 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act, her attorney argued that thali tying is not required and that, even if it were true, the wife's removal of the thali would not have any effect on the marital bond. But the bench said that it is common known that tying of the thali is a crucial ceremony in marriage rituals that take place in this region of the world.

The court further referenced the rulings of a division bench of the High Court, which noted that it was apparent from the papers in the file that the petitioner had removed the thali and that she had admitted to keeping it in a bank locker. It was well known that no married Hindu woman would ever take the thali off throughout her husband's lifetime.

"A woman's thali, which is removed only when her husband passes away, was a sacred object that represented the continuation of their marriage. As a result, its removal by the petitioner/wife can be viewed as an act that represented the highest level of mental cruelty because it might have caused suffering and injured the respondent's feelings "Bench had stated.
The current bench claimed that the removal of the thali chain is frequently regarded as an unceremonious act by using the same standard.

"We aren't saying that removing the thali chain by itself will end the marriage, but the respondent's (wife's) action is evidence that can be used to infer what the parties' intents were. The respondent's removal of the thali chain at the time of separation, along with other material on file, compels us to draw the firm conclusion that the parties have no intention of getting back together and maintaining their marriage "declared the bench.

The bench also observed that she had accused the guy of having extramarital affairs with his female colleagues in front of coworkers, students, and the police. The judges stated that they had no reluctance in concluding that the wife had treated the husband with mental cruelty by harbouring suspicions about him and making erroneous claims about an extramarital affair in front of others in light of the Supreme Court and High Courts' rulings.

"According to the information provided, the appellant and his wife started living apart in 2011 and there is no evidence in the file to support any attempts by the wife to reunite the couple during this time. We therefore propose to sever the marital ties by granting a decree dissolving the marriage between the petitioner and the respondent (wife), which occurred in November 2008, in light of the facts and circumstances of the case as well as our finding that the wife by her act caused mental cruelty to the husband "The bench ruled that the lower court's decision should be overturned and granted the petitioner's divorce.

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