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Wife not an ''object'', husband can't force her to stay with him, says Supreme Court

Supreme Court Observed This While Hearing A Matter Where A Wife Lodged A Criminal Case Against Her Husband Alleging Cruelty

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Abhishek Ranjit | Updated on: 08 Apr 2018, 02:13:47 PM
Supreme Court (File photo)

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Sunday said that a woman was not an ''object'' or ''chattel'' and she can't be forced to live with her husband even if he wishes to live with her, reported PTI.

SC observed this while hearing a matter where a wife lodged a criminal case against her husband alleging cruelty at the hands of him. The woman in her complaint had said that she didn't wish to reside with him while her husband maintained that he wants to live with her.

A bench comprising of justices Deepak Gupta and Madan B Lokur asked the husband, present in the courtroom, "She is not a chattel. You (man) cannot force her. She does not want to live with you. How can you say that you will live with her'?'

The bench asked the husband to reconsider his decision and desire to live with his wife in view of the categorical statement by her counsel, which stated she didn't wish to live with him.

"How can he (man) be so unreasonable? He is treating her as a chattel. She is not an object," the bench told the man's lawyer and posted the matter for further hearing on August 8.

The man's counsel informed the court that he would try to pursue him to change his decision.

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The lawyer representing the woman told the bench that her client wanted to get a divorce on grounds of cruelty.

"We are ready to withdraw the 498A (subjecting a married woman to cruelty) IPC case. We do not want any alimony also. She does not want to live with him," her lawyer said.

The apex court had earlier referred the case for mediation observing that the two were educated and they would be inclined to sort out their matrimonial dispute rather than opting for litigation which may prolong their agony.

SC had told both of them to fully cooperate with the mediation proceedings keeping in mind their interest and the fact that it might not be advisable for the husband and wife to litigate for an indefinite period of time.

The apex court, however, was later told that the issue was not resolved in mediation.  

(With agencies inputs)

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First Published : 08 Apr 2018, 02:12:15 PM

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