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Curable mental disorder -No ground for divorce = whether the marriage between the parties can be dissolved by granting a decree of divorce on the basis of one spouse’s mental illness which includes schizophrenia under Section 13 (1) (iii) of the Act. In the English case of Whysall v. Whysall[4], it was held that a spouse is ‘incurably of unsound mind’ if he or she is of such mental incapacity as to make normal married life impossible and there is no prospect of any improvement in mental health, which would make this possible in future. The High Court of Judicature at Calcutta, in Pramatha Kumar Maity v Ashima Maity[5] has held that mental disorder of the wife, even if proved, cannot, by itself, warrant a decree of divorce and it must be further proved that it is of such a nature as the husband could not be expected to live with the wife. The Allahabad High Court, in Mt. Tilti Vs. Alfred Rebert Jones[6] has held that where it has come on record that the wife has improved her educational qualifications and has been looking after her children, the apprehension of the husband that there is danger to his life or to his children is not borne out is the finding recorded in the said case. Inability to manage his or her affairs is an essential attribute of an “incurably unsound mind”. The facts pleaded and the evidence placed on record produced by the appellant in this case does not establish such inability as a ground on which dissolution of marriage was sought for by him before the trial court.= It is thus clear that the respondent, even if she did suffer from schizophrenia, is in a much better health condition at present. Therefore, this Court cannot grant the dissolution of marriage on the basis of one spouse’s illness. The appellant has not proved the fact of mental disorder of the respondent with reference to the allegation made against her that she has been suffering from schizophrenia by producing positive and substantive evidence on record and on the other hand, it has been proved that the respondent is in much better health condition and does not show signs of schizophrenia as per the most recent medical report from NIMHANS, as deposed by PW-4 in his evidence before the trial court.- Under Hindu law, marriage is an institution, a meeting of two hearts and minds and is something that cannot be taken lightly. In the Vedic period, the sacredness of the marriage tie was repeatedly declared; the family ideal was decidedly high and it was often realised[7]. In Vedic Index I it is stated that “The high value placed on the marriage is shown by the long and striking hymn”. In Rig Veda, X, 85; “Be, thou, mother of heroic children, devoted to the Gods, Be, thou, Queen in thy father-in- law’s household. May all the Gods unite the hearts of us “two into one” as stated in Justice Ranganath Misra’s ‘Mayne’s Treatise on Hindu Law and Usage’[8]. Marriage is highly revered in India and we are a Nation that prides itself on the strong foundation of our marriages, come hell or high water, rain or sunshine. Life is made up of good times and bad, and the bad times can bring with it terrible illnesses and extreme hardships. The partners in a marriage must weather these storms and embrace the sunshine with equanimity. Any person may have bad health, this is not their fault and most times, it is not within their control, as in the present case, the respondent was unwell and was taking treatment for the same. The illness had its fair share of problems. Can this be a reason for the appellant to abandon her and seek dissolution of marriage after the child is born out of their union? Since the child is now a grown up girl, her welfare must be the prime consideration for both the parties. In view of the foregoing reasons, we are of the opinion that the two parties in this case must reconcile and if the appellant so feels that the respondent is still suffering, then she must be given the right treatment. The respondent must stick to her treatment plan and make the best attempts to get better. It is not in the best interest of either the respondent or her daughter who is said to be of adolescent age for grant of a decree of dissolution of marriage as prayed for by the appellant. Hence, the appeal is liable to be dismissed. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgment of the High Court in not granting a decree of divorce and allowing the petition for restitution of conjugal rights. Therefore, we grant a decree for restitution of conjugal rights under Section 9 of the Act in favour of the respondent.

 published in  http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40785   REPORTABLE         IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION   CIVIL APPEAL NO.8264 OF 2013   (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 3544 of 2007)       KOLLAM CHANDRA SEKHAR … APPELLANT   Vs.   KOLLAM PADMA LATHA … RESPONDENT       J U … Continue reading

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