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N.R. Radhakrishnan Vs. N. Dhanalakshmi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberA.A.O. No. 188 of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1975Mad331; (1975)1MLJ439
ActsHindu Marriage Act, 1955 - Sections 9; Hindu Law
AppellantN.R. Radhakrishnan
RespondentN. Dhanalakshmi
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredSulochana v. Selva Madhavan
Excerpt:
- - on the other hand, the wife would contend that it is with a view to tease her that the husband got out of madras on his own volition and that in the circumstances in which she finds herself, it is unsafe for her to resign the job and look up to her husband for the maintenance of herself and her child. it is not as if the husband is a well-to-do man who can afford to maintain his wife and daughter out ot the meagre sum of rs. but then legislative enactments like the hindu marriage act have made considerable inroads upon the unqualified rights that the hindu husband previously enjoyed over the wife. but it is the petitioner who is adamant about being in pondicherry sticking to his same old bad habits......the ruling in vuyyuru pothuraju v. vuyyuru radha : air1965ap407 , that it is the bounden duty of a hindu wife to live with her husband wherever he may choose to reside and that it is the right of the husband to reauire his wife to live with him and that courts cannot deprive him of his right except under special circumstances which absolve the wife from that duty. in the case before their lordships the wife was not gainfully employed, whereas in this case she is. as i observed in sulochana v. selva madhavan, 1974 t.l.n.j. 351-'under pristine hindu law, a hindu wife's first duty to her husband is to submit herself obediently and to remain under his roof and protection. but then legislative enactments like the hindu marriage act have made considerable inroads upon the unqualified rights.....
Judgment:

Maharajan, J.

1. This is an appeal by the husband against the judgment of the second Additional District Judge, Pondi-cherry, dismissing his petition under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for a decree directing the respondent, his wife, to perform conjugal duties by coming and living with the appellant. At the time of the marriage between the parties, which took place on 29 9-1966 both the appellant Radhakrish-nan and his wife Dhanalakshmi were gainfully employed. The appellant was a driver in the State Transport undertaking at Madras, whereas the respondent, who is a trained teacher, was employed as a school mistress in an elementary school conducted by the Madras Corporation. In fact, even for four or five years prior to the marriage, the respondent was in the service of the Corporation as a school mistress. After the marriage, certain trivial misunderstandings appear to have broken out between the parties, whereupon the appellant expressed to the State Transport undertaking his willingness to go to Pondicherry, whereupon he was transferred to Pondicherry. Subsequently, he was transferred to Krishnagiri. It is the complaint of the wife that it is within the husband's power to get a transfer back to the Madras city and live with her. The main complaint of the husband is that in spite of his calling upon his wife to resign her job in the Corporation service and join him at Krishnagiri, she has unreasonably refused to resign her post and give him her company at Krishnagiri. On the other hand, the wife would contend that it is with a view to tease her that the husband got out of Madras on his own volition and that in the circumstances in which she finds herself, it is unsafe for her to resign the job and look up to her husband for the maintenance of herself and her child. Admittedly, a girl has been begotten by her to her husband and she is seven years old and is living with her. It is also the respondent's complaint that her husband used to beat her often whenever she refused to part with her jewels which he used to demand for the purpose of conversion into cash. In these circumstances, can it be stated that she is, without reasonable excuse, withdrawing from the society of her husband? It is not as if the husband is a well-to-do man who can afford to maintain his wife and daughter out ot the meagre sum of Rs. 200 which he earns as a driver. While it is open to him to get a transfer from Krishnagiri to Madras, it is not open to the wife to get a transfer from the Madras Corporation service to any elementary school at Krishnagiri. The only method by which she can give her company to her husband is by burning her boats -- residing her job--and abandoning herself to the mercies of her husband. The other method which if the couple are sensible, they can reasonably follow is that each may visit the other In his or her place at week-ends, and come away after a day's stay at the place of his or her avocation.

2. Learned counsel for the appellant contends, on the strength of the ruling in Vuyyuru Pothuraju v. Vuyyuru Radha : AIR1965AP407 , that it is the bounden duty of a Hindu wife to live with her husband wherever he may choose to reside and that it is the right of the husband to reauire his wife to live with him and that courts cannot deprive him of his right except under special circumstances which absolve the wife from that duty. In the case before their Lordships the wife was not gainfully employed, whereas in this case she is. As I observed in Sulochana v. Selva Madhavan, 1974 T.L.N.J. 351-

'Under pristine Hindu law, a Hindu wife's first duty to her husband is to submit herself obediently and to remain under his roof and protection. But then legislative enactments like the Hindu Marriage Act have made considerable inroads upon the unqualified rights that the Hindu husband previously enjoyed over the wife. The Court cannot in every case when the wife withdraws from the society of the husband pass a decree for restitution of conjugal rights against her unless she has done so without reasonable cause. The withdrawal from the society of the husband may be merely physical without any intention to shun his company, as in this case, where the wife is gainfully employed in a place away from the husbands home without the least intention of denying to her husband her society and company. The withdrawal from the society of the husband may be psychological as in a case where the wire may five with the husband under the same proof and yet refuse to perform her marital duties towards him. It is for the court to consider in either case what is the animus with which the wife ha; withdrawn from the society of the husbanc and whether she has done so without reasonable cause'.

2A. In this case, even in her counter the respondent has said as follows-

'The petitioner by his opting to go to Pondicherry on transfer from Madras caused deprivation of the company of the respondent. The respondent in fact never refused to live with the petitioner and invited him forgetting all his illtreatment arid vices to come and live with her in her house. But it is the petitioner who is adamant about being in Pondicherry sticking to his same old bad habits.'

3. It is, therefore, clear that the respondent is not refusing, much less unreasonably refusing, to give her wifely company to the appellant. There is, therefore, no legal ground for granting restitution of conjugal rights, which would necessarily involve the resignation by the respondent of a valuable job which fetches her Rs. 250 per mensem and without which she and her child may probably be thrown out to the wolves.

4. The Court below was right in dismissing the husband's petition for restitution. I confirm its order and dismiss this appeal. Having regard to the relationship between the parties, I refuse to pass any order as to costs.


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