89-Year-Old Husband Seeks Divorce from 82-Year-Old Wife, Supreme Court Rejects Plea

In a recent Supreme Court case, an 89-year-old man sought a divorce from his 82-year-old wife. However, the court rejected his plea, highlighting that the concept of an “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” cannot be a one-size-fits-all formula for divorce.

The court emphasized that despite the increasing number of divorce cases in India, marriage is still regarded as a sacred and invaluable institution in Indian society. In this particular case, the wife expressed her willingness to care for her husband and had no intentions of leaving him in their later years. She also conveyed her desire not to be labeled as a “divorcee.”

Considering these sentiments, the court concluded that granting a divorce on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown of marriage would be unjust to the wife. The judges noted that respecting the wife’s sentiments and preserving the sacred nature of their long-lasting marriage was essential.

The case revolved around the husband’s claim that his wife’s refusal to accompany him to Chennai, where he was stationed during his military service, amounted to abandonment without reasonable cause. While a district court initially granted the divorce, the decision was overturned by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The Supreme Court ultimately agreed with the wife’s arguments, highlighting her commitment to the marriage since 1963 and her efforts to maintain their sacred relationship. As a result, the husband’s plea for divorce was rejected, and the appeal was dismissed.

The court’s decision underscores the significance of respecting the sentiments and values associated with marriage, even in the face of marital challenges. Irretrievable breakdown of marriage, the court stated, should not be the sole criterion for divorce decisions.

Advocate Vipin Gogia represented the husband, while Advocate Madhurima Tatia represented the wife in this case.

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