New Delhi: In a Hindu society, it is a "pious obligation" of the son to maintain parents and the persistent effort of the wife to constrain the husband to be separated from his family constitutes an act of 'cruelty' enabling him to get divorce, the Supreme Court has said.
A bench of Justices Anil R Dave and L Nageshwara Rao made the obsrvations while confirming the decree of divorce sought by a Karnataka-based man.
The order was passed while setting aside Karnataka High Court judgment which had dismissed the decree of divorce granted by a Bangalore family court in 2001.
"In a Hindu society, it is a pious obligation of the son to maintain the parents. If a wife makes an attempt to deviate from the normal practice and normal custom of the society, she must have some justifiable reason for that and, in this case, we do not find any justifiable reason, except monetary consideration of the wife.
"In our opinion, normally, no husband would tolerate this and no son would like to be separated from his old parents and other family members, who are also dependent upon his income.
The persistent effort of the wife to constrain the husband to be separated from the family would be torturous for husband and in our opinion, the trial court was right when it came to the conclusion that this constitutes an act of 'cruelty'," the apex court said.
It further said, "It is not a common practice or desirable culture for a Hindu son in India to get separated from his parents on getting married at the instance of the wife, especially when the son is the only earning member in the family. A son, brought up and given education by his parents, has a moral and legal obligation to take care and maintain the parents, when they become old and when they have either no income or have a meagre income."