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Mere existence of mental disorder not ground for divorce: SC

Last Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 10:34

New Delhi: A spouse suffering from mental disorder cannot be the sole ground for dissolution of marriage and divorce can be granted only if the illness is of such nature that it is difficult to live together, the Supreme Court has said.

Explaining the provisions of Hindu Marriages Act (HMA), the court said that the law does not make a mere existence of a mental disorder of any degree sufficient to grant divorce.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda turned down the plea of a man seeking divorce on the ground that his wife is suffering from schizophrenia, saying medical report does not substantiate the claim.

"This court cautioned that Section 13 (1) (iii) of HMA does not make a mere existence of a mental disorder of any degree sufficient in law to justify the dissolution of marriage," the bench said referring to its earlier verdict.

It upheld the Andhra Pradesh High Court`s decision which had set aside the trail court order to grant divorce to the doctor couple.

"We are of the opinion that the high court has rightly examined the entire evidence on record and correctly found fault with the findings of fact recorded by the trial court with regard to the ailment attributed to the respondent for seeking dissolution of marriage under the ground of unsound mind which is a non-existent fact," the bench said.

"In our considered view, the contents of the report as stated by the team of doctors do not support the case of the appellant (husband) that the respondent (wife) is suffering from a serious case of schizophrenia, in order to grant the decree of divorce," it said.


First Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 10:34
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