Delhi High Court Affirms Separated Husbands' Right to Live with Another Woman

Rozana Spokesman  | Amanat Thaper

News, Nation

Court rules that living with another woman post-separation is not cruelty, Provided there is no chance of reunion

Delhi High Court

NEW-DELHI: In a Notable Comment on divorce matters, the Delhi High Court stated that a husband can live with another woman after separation from his wife, without it constituting cruelty. However, this is contingent on the absence of any possibility of reunion. A bench led by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait dismissed the plea of the woman involved, affirming that cohabitation with another woman during divorce proceedings after a prolonged separation cannot disqualify the husband from divorce on grounds of cruelty, as alleged by the wife.

The case revolves around a couple who tied the knot in 2003. Their marriage endured only two years, leading to separation in 2005. The couple has two sons. The wife accused her husband and his family of dowry harassment. Simultaneously, the husband claimed cruelty on the part of the wife, alleging physical abuse by her, her brother, and relatives. Ultimately, the matter was brought before the family court, resulting in a divorce.

Discontent with the family court's decision, the woman took her case to the High Court, contending that her husband was residing with another woman. Justice Suresh Kumar Kait's bench emphasized that the couple had been living separately since 2005, and a reunion was improbable. The court cited persistent discord and criminal complaints lodged by the wife, causing distress to the husband. Justice Neena Bansal Krishna, part of the bench, mentioned in the order dated September 13 that the enduring conflicts and criminal allegations had rendered life miserable for the respondent-husband, who was also deprived of marital relations.

Notably, Given the substantial period of separation and the absence of any prospect of reuniting, the responsive husband is entitled to seek solace and companionship by residing with another woman, the court noted. Such a choice should not be denied to him. The court affirmed that the family court rightly concluded that the wife had subjected her husband to cruelty and accordingly dismissed her appeal.