Woman tosses Thali on husband; Madras HC dissolves marriage

A division bench of Justice Justice VM Velumani and Justice SS Sounthar passed the orders by considering the act of the wife as one of the evidences of causing mental cruelty to the husband.
Woman tosses Thali on husband; Madras HC dissolves marriage

CHENNAI: Observing that the removal of the Thali chain (Mangal Sutra ) is often treated as an unceremonious act, a division bench of the Madras High Court passed orders to dissolve a marriage of a couple on the ground that the wife had removed and tossed the Thali on her husband during separation.

A division bench of Justice Justice VM Velumani and Justice SS Sounthar passed the orders by considering the act of the wife as one of the evidences of causing mental cruelty to the husband.

“We don’t say for a moment that removal of Thali chain per se sufficient to put an end to the marital knot, but the act of respondent is a piece of evidence in drawing an inference about the intentions of the parties. The act of respondent in the removal of Thali chain at the time of separation coupled with various other evidence available on record, compel us to come to a definite conclusion that the parties have no intention to reconcile and continue the marital knot,” Justice SS Sounthar who penned the order held while disposing of a civil miscellaneous appeal filed by a man.

The bench passed this direction after hearing the submissions of the appellant’s counsel S Subbiah, that at the time of the separation in 2011, the appellant’s wife removed her Thali and tossed it towards the appellant/husband as a token of her intention to put a full stop to the marital knot.

Though the respondent’s counsel S Vijayaraghavan submitted that his client retained Thali and removed only the chain, the bench noted that the act of removing the Thali chain had its own significance.

The respondent’s counsel further submitted that as per Section 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act, tying of Thali is not necessary one. Rejecting the submission, Justice Sounthar held that it is a matter of common knowledge that the tying of Thali is an essential ritual in marriage ceremonies that takes place in this part of the world.

The bench also referred to a 2017 order of Madras HC in the case of Vallabhi Vs R Rajasabhi stating that no Hindu married woman would remove the “Thali” at any point of time during the lifetime of her husband. “The removal of Thali by the wife can be said to be an act which reflected mental cruelty of the highest order as it could have caused agony and hurt the sentiments of the husband,” the bench recalled the order passed in 2017.

The appellant challenged the judgment of a family court, Erode, dated June 15, 2016, dismissing his petition filed for divorce on the ground of marital cruelty.

According to the petitioner, a lecturer in medical college, he married a woman in November 2008. The couple got a girl child through wedlock. However, the problem started when his wife started to doubt the petitioner. The petitioner claimed that his wife developed suspicion about his conduct and character and humiliated him by connecting him with his female colleagues.

The Appellant’s counsel S Subbiah submitted that with the evil intention of tarnishing the image of the appellant came to his workplace (college) and had spoken ill of him by connecting him with other female lecturers. She also lodged a police complaint twice against her husband, according to the advocate.

Recording the submissions, the judges held that the wife caused mental cruelty to the husband by suspecting his character and making false allegations of an extramarital affair in the presence of his colleagues and students and also before the police and passed a decree to dissolve the marital knot.

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