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Prithvi Pal Singh Vs. Joginder Kaur - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 121 of 1982
Judge
Reported in1983(5)DRJ237; 1983RLR754
ActsHindu Marriage Act, 1955 - Sections 13(1)
AppellantPrithvi Pal Singh
RespondentJoginder Kaur
Advocates: Irfan Ahmed and; C.L. Nasimhan, Advs
Cases ReferredAjit Siagh v. Amarjit Kaur
Excerpt:
hindu marriage act 1955 - section 13(1)(iii)--mental disorder and to extent expected to leave with the respondent--explained--now it is well-settled that there is no objective criteria for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. to diagnose schizophrenia simply on the presence of delusions and hallucinations is like making the diagnosis of a coronary disease only on the basis of pain in the chest or the diagnosis of typhoid only on the presence of a sustained pyrexia. single symptoms should certainly suggest the diagnosis of condition in which such symptoms frequently occur. but unless there are specific conclusive test for the existence of certain disease processes, a final differential diagnosis based on the whole clinical picture. it involves a careful and comprehensive clinical evaluation......n.n. goswamy, j.(1) this appeal by the husband is directed against the judgment dated 6-3-1982 passed by the learned add]. district judge, delhi whereby his petition under section 13 of the hindu marriage act, for dissolution of marriage was dismissed.(2) the appellant-husband filed a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce under section 13 of the hindu marriage act. it is alleged in the petition that the marriage between the parties was solemnized on 6-10-1975 in accordance with sikh/hindu rites and customs at delhi. two children were born out of the wedlock on 2-1 1-1976 and 16-10-1978. the elder child is a boy and living with his father and the younger child is a girl and is living with the mother. it is further alleged that never since the marriage, the respondent.....
Judgment:

N.N. Goswamy, J.

(1) This appeal by the husband is directed against the judgment dated 6-3-1982 passed by the learned Add]. District Judge, Delhi whereby his petition under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, for dissolution of marriage was dismissed.

(2) The appellant-husband filed a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act. It is alleged in the petition that the marriage between the parties was solemnized on 6-10-1975 in accordance with Sikh/Hindu rites and customs at Delhi. Two children were born out of the wedlock on 2-1 1-1976 and 16-10-1978. The elder child is a boy and living with his father and the younger child is a girl and is living with the mother. It is further alleged that never since the marriage, the respondent was found to be a person of unsound mind. She would laugh and begin to weep without any reason. She would often shout and sometimes threaten to commit suicide. Her behavior from the very beginning and throughout left much to be desired. She would not be amenable to reasoning and pick up quarrels on most minor issues. The appellant extended a very large measure of understanding and tolerance but to no effect. The appellant discussed all this with the parents of the respondent who informed the appellant that the respondent was doing the same thing even before her marriage. However, the appellant and the respondent resided together up to 2-3-1980 at Delhi. During this period, she used to pick up quarrel and go to stay for long period with her parents. The appellant consulted several eminent specialists in psychiatry who diagnosed her case to be schizophrenia and opined that the disease was not curable. In spite of the treatment and medicines and electric shocks, the respondent showed no substantial or lasting improvement. It is further alleged that the respondent and her parents by suppressing the true facts from the appellant, have played a fraud on the appellant and his parents. The respondent ultimately deserted the appellant on 2-3-1980 leaving behind a suicide note to the effect that the respondent was fed up with her life and wanted to commit suicide. In these circumstances, it is alleged that the appellant has been ruined because of the fraud, concealment and cruelty practiced by the respondent and her parents on the appellant; thus causing the appellant great mental torture. The respondent gave up the treatment which was given to her when she was living with the appellant. The appellant apprehends every danger to his life and property and to the lives of his minor children at the hands of the respondent and is left with no other alternative but to seek dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce.

(3) The petition was contested by the respondent. In the written statement it was pleaded as preliminary objections that the petition was liable to be dismissed on the grounds that the same was not verified in accordance with law and that the petition contained false, frivolous and concocted allegations. The petition was filed with ulterior motives to get rid of the respondent in his malicious and illegal intention of marrying another girl for more money. On merits the factum of marriage and the birth of the two children was not disputed. The allegations regarding her being of unsound mind were denied. She pleaded that she was of sound and well balanced mind prior to marriage, at the time of marriage she continued to be so till the date she filed the written statement. She further pleaded that the parents of the appellant continuously kept on inflicting mental torture on the respondent by saying that had the appellant married some other girl he would have got very good dowry. The appellant had also been insisting that the respondent should bring some more from her parent's house which the respondent could not get and this continuous process of mental torture created a little disturbance in the mind of the respondent. Since the date of the marriage, the appellant started demanding more furniture and replacement of beds and further pressurised the respondent to boring the same from her parents inasmuch the brother of the respondent is deal'ng in. the business of furniture. In spite of all this, she tried to adjust herself with the appellant and his parents. She specifically denied that she was suffering from schizophrenia or that she ever suffered from any such disease. She also denied that she is a case of potential homicidal or suicidal risk. She also volunteered that she was prepared to undergo a medical test by an independent specialist appointed by the Court. She further expressed her desire and willingness to live with the appellant.

(4) The appellant filed the replication. He denied the allegations contained in the written statement and reiterated the averments contained in the petition.

(5) On the pleadings of the parties, the learned trial court framed the following issues:

(1) Whether the respondent is suffering from schizophrenia? If so, whether the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with her O.P.P. (2) Whether the petition has not been verified according to law as alleged If so, its effect (3) Relief.

(6) Issue No. 2 was not pressed by the respondent and as such was decided in favor of the appellant. Issue No. I is the only material issue. On perusal of the entire evidence on record, the learned trial Judge came to the conclusion that the appellant had failed to prove that the respondent was suffering from schizophrenia or that he could not reasonably be expected to live with her. Consequently the petition was dismissed.

(7) The appellant examined as many as seven witnesses including himself in support of his case. The most important witness is Public Witness 1, Dr. P.B. Bucksey. From the qualifications stated by him, it cannot be disputed that he is a highly qualified doctor and psychiatrist. He deposed that he had treated the respondent who was admitted in his clinic on 27-8-1979. According to him, the respondent was suffering from schizophrenia and she was brought to him by her husband and her brother. It is further deposed that prior to the respondent being brought to him, she was treated by two senior psychiatrists namely Brig. S.S. Syali and Col. Kirpal Singh. These two psychiatrists had treated her with medicinal treatment which proved to be of no avail and it was felt by the witness that the patient should be given electric shock treatment. As a result, from the next day, the electric shock treatment started and the patient was given 12 shocks. He further stated that though he could not tell the exact duration of the disease but in the condition in-which she was brought it appeared that the disease existed for the last about five years. He further stated that the disease is basically incurable type of insanity. When the respondent went to him, she felt persecuted and felt as if someone was after her life. She also felt like committing suicide and it was reported to him that she actually made an attempt earlier. The patient also admitted to have heard unusual voices whatever she was thinking was based on hallucinations. The patient also told him that she felt possessed by some eternal agency and whatever she was doing or feeling was from the decades of that agency whose voices she was constantly hearing. She also told him that she had caused lot of inconvenience to her husband who was a pious man according to her. According to the witness, the respondent was a potential suicidal risk case and thereforee without waiting for any further response to the medicinal treatment he advised electric treatment which was started on the very next day. He further opined that the disease from which the respondent was suffering, was not a curable type of disease and it is characterised by remissions and relapses and each attack brings further deterioration in the personality of the patient. Complete cure is never possible. He also proved the prescriptions etc. of the respondent which were placed on record. In cross-examination, he stated that as a rule all cases of schizophrenia get relapses. However, in rare exceptions the disease may go on. to certain stage and burn itself out spontaneously leaving the patient and his personality a cheaper addition of his/her previous self. He further stated in cross-examination that he had started the electric shock treatment because he felt that the medicinal treatment had not done any good in spite of the fact that she had been treated by two senior psychiatrists for a period of one year. He further stated that his diagnosis was not only based on the prior consultations of the psychiatrists for one year but was based on his opinion derived from the facts of the case, and on totality of the picture. According to him. the respondent was unlikely to be able to lead a normal married life and there is unlikelihood of her complete recovery. He, however, admitted that the divorce in such circumstances was not considered to be good by him.

(8) Public Witness 2 is one Niranjan Singh who is a friend of the appellant. His evidence is based on two or three visits which he had made to the house of the appellant. According to him, he saw the respondent laughing and weeping without any reason or cause and he was told by the appellant that she was suffering from some mental- ailment.

(9) P.W. 3 is Sunder Singh. He has only deposed to the effect that he is engaged in the business of furniture. The appellant had demanded furniture from him. Though the furniture was supplied but no payment was made to him by the appellant. His evidence is irrelevant to the controversy before me.

(10) P.W. 4 Om Prakash Chopra is again a friend of the appellant. He stated that the respondent was suffering from mental disease for the last two or 2 years His information is derived from his wife and he had no personal knowledge. He, however, stated that on Holi day the respondent had left the house at 2.30 p.m. along with one child and he had seen her going.

(11) Public Witness 5 Jagat Singh is the father of the appellant. He stated that he had stayed with the appellant and the respondent for about 20 days after their marriage. During that stay, he noticed that the respondent used to weep for about half an hour or one hour continuously without any reason or cause. He thought that it may be possible because she had not yet fully adjusted herself and would recover in future. However, can later on when he used to visit the appellant's house, the appellant used to tell him about the illness of the respondent. He further stated- that the respondent left the house of the appellant on the occasion of Holi i.e. on 2-3-1980 and he was informed about this by his son. The appellant along with his son and one of his friends had come to him at about 6.00 or 7.00 p.m. on the same day and informed him about the fact of the respondent having left the house. He, thereforee, went with the appellant and made a telephone call to the parents of the respondent to find out whether she had reached there. He was told that the respondent had reached the house of her parents and they need not worry about it. Next day when he went to the appellant's house he was told that the respondent had left a suicidal note before leaving the matrimonial home. He along with his wife visited the house of the respondent's parents on 5-3-1980 and he was told that the respondent was not keeping good health and as soon as she recovers she will be sent back to her matrimonial home. In cross-examination, he stated that he used to see the respondent every day during the period he was staying with them and used to notice that the respondent used to weep without any rhyme or reason every day. He also noticed that she was suffering from mental disease but he could not say if she was taking any medicine for the same. He further stated that since his son was getting the respondent treated he had no concern with the treatment and as such was unable to tell anything about the same.

(12) Public Witness 6 is another friend of the appellant. He stated that on 2-3-1980 he had gone to a Gurdwara with the appellant and his son. They remained in the Gurdwara up to about 4.00 or 4.30 p.m. and thereafter returned to the Lawrence Road. He dropped the appellant arid his son on the road near his house at about 5.00 or 5.30 p.m. When he had hardly reached his house, the appellant Along with his son, came to him and asked about 1. his wife whether she had come there. He told him that she had not come to his house. Thereafter both of them along with the appellant's son went to Ballimaran to the appellant's father's house in search of the respondent. The father of the appellant also showed his ignorance. Thereafter they telephoned the respondent's parents and came to know that the respondent had reached her parent's house. He further stated that once or twice when he visited the appellant's house, the respondent opened the door and she started laughing and then weeping without any reason. On this he asked the appellant and the appellant told. him that she was having some mental disease.

(13) R.W.7 is the appellant himself. He deposed to the facts stated in the petition. He also stated that immediately after the marriage, the respondent was found weeping for half an hour or so and on his enquiry he was told that the sister of the respondent was chronically ill which was the reason of the respondent's weeping. However, this activity of weeping continued all along and the respondent used to take some medicine brought by her from her parent's house in the shape of a 'puriya'. After taking that medicine she used to go to sleep. He further stated that when the respondent had gone to her parent's .house he was called there in 1979 and was told that the respondent's condition was serious. He accordingly took her for treatment to Dr. Col. Kirpal Singh and later to Dr. S.S. Syali. Both those doctors diagnosed her illness to be schizophrenia. Later he took her to Dr. Bucksey,P.W. 1. The respondent was given E.C.Ts. by Dr. Bucksey and later in Willingdon Hospital. He also stated that he was told that the respondent was suffering from the same illness in 1970 when she had to appear in her Higher Secondary Examination. According to him, after the treatment, the respondent again had a serious fits in December, 1979 when the respondent's parents came with their family doctor Mr. Naresh Kumar to treat her. According to him, the respondent left the matrimonial home voluntarily and in his absence on 2-3-1980 and thereafter has not come back to the matrimonial home. He denied the suggestions that he ever demanded more dowry or did not pay for the furniture which he had taken from the brother of the respondent. He stated that he had filed this petition when the parents of the respondent refused to send the respondent back to him and also to get her treated. In cross-examination, he stated that the respondent had tried to commit suicide earlier to 2-3-1980 also but had not left any note to that effect. He was, however, unable to tell the step taken by the respondent for committing suicide. He admitted that Amarjit Singh Public Witness was his friend, and he has been visiting him alone at his house. The respondent never visited the house of the said Amarjit Singh. He also admitted that previous to 1979 he never consulted any psychiatrist for the respondent though, according to him, he consulted certain other doctors.

(14) As against the aforesaid evidence, produced by the appellant,the respondent examined as many as 12 witnesses in defense. It is not necessary to discuss the evidence of every witness as most of them have said that the respondent was not suffering from any such ailment before her marriage or even after the marriage. The relevant evidence is of the respondent herself, who appeared as R.W. 9 and of Dr. S. Saxena who appeared as R.W. 12. The respondent as her own witness stated that the engagement ceremony of the parties had taken place on Dussehra day of 1974. Before the engagement ceremony, the parties had met in Gurdwara Rakab Ganj. This meeting was before four days prior to the engagement ceremony. In that meeting, besides the appellant, his parents, brother, other relatives and friends were present. From her side also besides herself, her parents, her . brother, her sister-in-law and certain other relatives were present. At that time, the appellant and the respondent had only exchanged greetings. However, the mother of the appellant had talked to her and had enquired about her educational qualifications and had also talked to her about general things. Again on the day of engagement, the relatives and friends from both sides were present and the appellant was also present. The parties were married on 6-10-1975. After the marriage for two or three days, she was not allowed to do any house-hold work but thereafter she started doing the house-hold work including the cooking of meals. The reception was held on 26-10-1975. That day there was also 'Bhog of Akhand Path' and the invitees were served free meals. During the Akhand Path, the respondent also participated and recited Shri Guru Granth Sahib. After the reception, the parties had visited Hazoor Sahib. At Hazoor Sahib, the parties were taking food in the 'Langar' but she was making tea etc. on a stove they had carried She had studied up to the Higher Secondary but did not pass the examination since she had not fared well in the first paper. According to her, on the Holiday of 1980 she was in the house. On 3-5-1980, the appellant had gone to his office as usual. He returned back from the office in the evening and there- after her maternal uncle also came. She later came to know that the maternal uncle had been invited by the appellant. The appellant sent for a taxi and compelled the respondent to go in that taxi with her maternal uncle to her parent's house. She resisted but was compelled by her husband and also by her maternal uncle to go to her parent's house. She denied having gone to any mental hospital for her ailment She admitted in cross-examination that she was examined by Dr. Col. Kirpal Singh and Dr. Brig Syali as also by Dr. Bucksey. She also admitted having gone to the Willingdon hospital for E.C.Ts. According to her, she was compelled to write suicidal note 2-3-1980. She stated thas she was compelled to write something on a paper which was later on torn by the appellant as he was not satisfied about the language and he dictated her the note Ex. Public Witnesse, 6/1. She has also produced the torn paper which was initially got written from her and was torn by the appellant. She denied the suggestion that she was not able to appear in the Higher Secondary Examination because of her illness of Schizphrenia. According to her, she never suffered from schizophrenia before or after her marriage.

(15) Public Witness 12 is Dr. Saxena, Junior Resident of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He brought the hospital records of the respondent. He deposed that he examines the mental cases almost daily and he had examined the respondent on 18-2-1981 and again on 5-3-1981. The respondent was examined as out-door patient. She was having no complaint at the time she came to him. She wanted to know whether she had any mental illness at that time. She told him that she had some mental complaint earlier and at the time of examination she thought that she was all right and wanted to ascertain that fact. He examined her personally and also took the opinion of his senior doctor, Dr. P.L. Chawla. He also got psychological testing done on her. On the basis of the said test and his observation, he was of the opinion that at the time of examination she was not suffering from any psychiatrically illness. He also produced the prescription of the respondent which is Ex. 12/1. The noting on the reverse of the said prescription was done by Dr. A. Lal who is working as Senior Resident in the Department of Psychiatry. In cross-examination, he stated that he asked for the previous history of the patient when she approached him Though he did not see the previous record but he was told by the patient and her relatives that she had suffered from mental symptoms in the year 1979. The relatives of the patient told him about the previous history. According to the information given to him, she was suffering from excitement, irritability, laughing and crying without reason and sleeplessness in the year 1979. He was also told that the respondent was treated by a private Psychiatrist for her mental symptoms by E.C.Ts. and drugs. He further stated that though the records do not disclose but he was told that the respondent was treated by Dr. Bucksey and Dr. Syali in 1979. The records, however, mention 'Private Psychiatrists'. According to him, the disease known as schizophrenia is serious mental illness but not necessarily incurable. Many patients suffering from this disease become much better or even all right after adequate treatment. 'The patients may have recurrences of this illness after they are all right in between. He described the symptoms of schizophrenia. He further stated that he did not find any of those symptoms in the respondent. He did not diagnose the respondent as suffering from schizophrenia at the time when she was examined by him.

(16) This is the entire relevant evidence on record. From this evidence it has to be seen whether the case can fall within the requirement of Section 13(1)(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act. The said provision is, to the following effect: S. 13(1). Any marriage solemnised, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party................... (iii) has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent. Explanationn : In this clause,

(A) the expression mental disorder means mental illness arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder or any other disorder or disability of mind and includes schizophrenia, (b) the expression psychopathic disorder means a persistent disorder or disability of mind (whether or non-including sub normality of intelligence) which results in abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of other party, and whether or not it requires or is susceptible to medical treatment; or (iv) has been suffering from a virulent and incurable form of leprosy; or (v) has been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form; or (vi) has renounced the world by entering any religious order ; or (vii) has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of it, had that party been alive.'

(17) The term schizophrenia was for the first time introduced in 1911. The literary meaning of term is disintegrate of mind. Schizophrenia is of four or five types including catatonic which was at one time diagnosed by Dr. Bucksey in the present case. However, Dr. Bucksey in his statement has not given the specific symptoms for various types of schizophrenia. In the case of J.P. Sharma v. Shashi Bala (1), it was held by the Division Bench of this Court that it is not correct to say that simply because the respondent had suffered from schizophrenia, the petitioner has treated the respondent with cruelty. Other factors have to be born in mind before arriving at the conclusion that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent. By merely proving that the respondent is of unsound mind or suffers from disorder the appellant cannot obtain divorce. Marriage can be dissolved only by proving that the respondent was suffering from some form of mental disorder which was of such a kind or of such an extent that the appellant could not reasonably be expected to live with the respondent. In other words, the appellant must prove that because of such mental disorder it was not reasonably possible to enjoy conjugal life with the' respondent. The Court has to be satisfied that the respondent's menta.l disorder is of such a nature and of such intensity that it would not goe reasonable to compel the appellant to endure or suffer the same.

(18) In the present case, the entire basis is on the evidence of,.' Public Witness l and certain observations of the appellant to the effect that the respondent used to laugh and weep without any reason. It is no doubt true that Dr. P.B. Bucksey is a well recognised psychiatrist and is highly qualified. However, in the present case, I agree with the learned trial Judge that he had jumped to the conclusions too soon. The respondent was taken to this doctor, for the first time, on 27-8-1979 and on the same day he recorded the conclusion that the respondent was suffering from schizophrenia and put her to the treatment of E.C.T. right from the next day. The reason given by Dr. Bucksey for arriving at such a conclusion is that she had already been treated by medicines for this illness by two eminent Psychiatrists namely Col. Kirpal Singh and Dr. Syali for about a year. According to him, since the medicines did not react properly for one year, he thought of giving E.C.T. treatment. However, from the record, I find that Dr. Kirpal Singh was consulted, for the first time, on 19-7-1979 and Dr. Syali was consulted thereafter. Thus it is not correct to say that the respondent had been put on medicinal treatment by the said two Psychiatrists for about a year. The entire period which lapsed between the consultation of Dr. Kirpal Singh and Dr. Bucksey is one month and 8 days. Dr. Bucksey probably misunderstood and came to the conclusion that the respondent had been treated for about a year while in fact it is about a month Dr. Syali and Dr. Kirpal Singh have not been produced for reasons best known to the appellant and thus it is not possible for this Court to find out the basis on which the said two doctors had described the illness as schizophrenia. By now it is well-settled that there is no objective criteria for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. To diagnose schizophrenia simply on the presence of delusions and hallucinations is like making the diagnosis of a coronary disease only on the basis of pain in the chest or the diagnosis of typhoid fever only on the presence of a sustained pyrexia. Single symptoms should certainly.suggest the diagnosis of conditions in which such symptoms frequently occur. But unless there are specific conclusive tests for the existence of certain disease processes, a final differential diagnosis must be based on the whole clinical picture. Such a picture cannot be visualised only by seeing the patient once as has been done by Dr. Bucksey in the present case. It involves a careful and comprehensive clinical evaluation. Such an evaluation must take into account the presence or absence of certain schizophrenia key symptoms, the patient's pre-psychotic personality, the physical findings, the genetic family history, the various aspects a good and any other precipitating factors. The various symptoms of this disease have been dealt with in authoritative books on mental disorders ; but unfortunately Dr. Bucksey has not applied his mind to the same and rather jumped at the conclusion by examining the patient for a short period of only one day. The conclusions of Dr. Bucksey to the effect that such a disease is not curable is also not based on the latest developments of medical sciences. Experts from the Report of The International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia conducted by World Health Organization Geneva, 1973, were brought to my notice by the learned counsel for the respondent. According to the said report, the prospects of full and permanent recovery from a schizophrenia attack is considerably brighter than it was a half centaury ago, when the odds for such complete recovery were only 2 to 4 per cent. The drugs now permit the prevention of relapses that could not have been prevented before the advent of thee drugs. It is further mentioned in the said report that Bleater fee is that now -a-days it must be recognised that schizophrenia can end in complete recovery.

(19) Now coming to the present case, the only evidence on record regarding the respondent having suffered from schizophrenia starts from July, 1979 and ends on 2-3-1980, the entire period being of about six months. The parties have admittedly lived together from 1975 and out of the wedlock two children were also born. There is nothing on record, to indicate that the respondent ever suffered from such a disease prior to 1979 except the evidence of the appellant and his friends to the effect that the respondent used to laugh and cry without any reason and they suspected mental ailment. It has been admitted by the appellant that he never consulted any psychiatrist prior to 1979. If the respondent really had any such mental ailment and of such a nature, as is picturised. by the appellant there is no reason why he should not have consulted a psychiatrist for the said ailment. In this situation, there is no escape from the conclusion that the respondent never suffered from any such ailment prior to 1979. In fact, the appellant never pressed his case under Section 12(1)(c) before the learned trial Court and in my opinion rightly because there was no evidence to indicate that the respondent suffered from any such disease prior to her marriage or even till 1979.

(20) The learned counsel for the appellant relied on the case Smt. Asha Srivastava v. R.K. Srivastava (2). In that case, the parties were married in 1976. The history -records of the wife were produced, which indicated that she was suffering from schizophrenia since as far back as 1970. The learned Jude of this .Court came to the conclusion that this fact was concealed and thus amounted to obtaining the consent of the husband by fraud. This case is not applicable to the facts of the present case at all because there is not even a slightest'suggestion that the respondent ever suffered from this disease prior to her marriage. Reliance was also placed on Ajit Siagh v. Amarjit Kaur (3). In that case it was found as a fact that the treatment continued for about four years i.e. from 1972 to 1976. The patient was admitted to Mental Hospital and according to the medical evidence she was found to be a person of un- sound mind.

(21) In the case before me, the medical evidence produced by the parties is also conflicting. As mentioned above, R.W. 12 has produced the records of the respondent from All India Institute of Medical Sciences. The record discloses that she was examined by at least three doctors of the Department of Psychiatry. They have opined that she was not suffering from such disease. Further there is nothing on record to indicate that after she had been treated in 1979 she ever suffered from such a disease, or she ever got any attack of schizophrenia. The observations of the learned trial Judge are also relevant from this point of view. The said observations are :-

'EVEN otherwise I had the occasion to watch the parties while they used to appear in Court. She made the statement in my presence and under my watchful eyes and during all these occasions she behaved as any normal human being would without giving any signs of any abnormality. Had she been a patient of schizophrenia, I am sure she could not have faced such a trial including lengthy and gruelling cross-examination at the hands of the counsel for the petitioner.'

(22) The learned trial Judge also recorded the findings on the alleged suicidal note and the writing which had been torn by the appellant. According to the learned trial Judge it shows that she was unhappy because' instead of becoming a source of healing, her presence had become a burden. The letter does not show any of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Rather it speaks of mental alertness and awareness of the surroundings and what was happening around her and her family. It is true that the letter does show that she was not physically fit but it does not lead to the conclusion that she was suffering from mental disorder and that too of such a gravity that the appellant could not reasonably be expected to live with her)

(23) After giving my careful consideration to the entire evidence on record, I am of the opinion that the same is not sufficient for adjudging that the respondent was either of incurable unsound mind or was suffering from any mental disorder of such a kind and of such an extent that the appellant- husband cannot reasonably be expected to live with her. From the observations of the learned trial Judge, reproduced obove, it is evident that the respondent was in complete control of her senses and was able to stand the test of cross-examination. There being no evidence on record to show that she suffered from any mental disorder after she had been treated in 1979, I have no reason to hold that she continues to suffer from schizophrenia even if she was suffering for few months in 1979

(24) For the reasons recorded above, I am of the opinion that no error can be found with the conclusions of the learned trial Judge. The appeal is consequently dismissed, and the parties are left to bear their own costs.


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