Gauhati HC grants divorce on wife’s refusal to wear ‘sindoor’

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The Gauhati High Court has granted divorce to a man as his wife refused to wear the shaka (conch shell bangle) and sindoor (vermillion) which added to her refusal to accept the marriage as per customs to be followed by a married Hindu woman.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ajai Lamba and Justice Soumitra Saikia in a judgment passed on June 19 by the high court said, “”… her refusal to wear “sakha and sindoor” will project her to be unmarried and/or signify her refusal to accept the marriage with the appellant (husband). Such categorical stand of the respondent (wife) points to the clear intention of the respondent that she is unwilling to continue her conjugal life with the appellant”.

Bhaskar Das, a contractual labourer in eastern Assam’s Digboi town, had filed for divorce from his wife Renu Das. They were married since February 17, 2012, but they had differences soon after and started demanding to live separately. As a consequence, the two have been living separated since June 30, 2013.

The woman filed a case against him and his family members under Section 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a married woman to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). They were acquitted in the case by the High Court, he filed a separate divorce plea, citing cruelty by his wife.

She contested the plea alleging harassment by her husband and in-laws for dowry and ill-treatment. But, the HC order said, “The allegation of subjecting the wife to cruelty was not sustained. Such acts of lodging criminal cases on unsubstantiated allegations against the husband and/or the husband’s family members amounts to cruelty,” the HC order said.

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