Wife undoing "mangalsutra" a mental cruelty to husband: Madras HCtext_fields
Chennai: The Madras High Court granted a husband divorce after his wife removed her 'thali' (mangalsutra). The court observed that the wife's act was an act of mental cruelty to the husband.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by Erode Medical College Professor C Shivakumar. Earlier, his petition seeking divorce was rejected by a family court.
The wife's lawyer had argued before the HC that under Section 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act, tying the Thali is not mandatory. Therefore even if it were held that the Thali had been taken off, it would not affect the marital relationship.
The Madras High Court bench of V.M. Velumani, S. Saunder observed that "Thalikett" is an indispensable ritual of marriages. The court said that it is a well-known fact that no Hindu woman can remove her Thali as long as her husband is alive. The Thali around the woman's neck shows the continuity of their married life and is only after the death of the husband.
Therefore the petitioner's act of removing the Thali amounts to the highest level of mental cruelty towards the husband, and it hurt him and his sentiments.
The wife had submitted before the court that after she separated from her husband, she removed the thali chain. However, she only changed the chain and did not remove the Thali. But the court pointed out that the removal has its own importance.
The court said that, even though removing Thali is not enough to end the marriage, the wife's action is evidence to conclude her motives. This, along with other evidence available on record, leads to the conclusion that the parties had no intention to reconcile and continue the marital relationship, the court observed.