Supreme Court of India
Manju Kumari Singh @ Smt. Manju … vs Avinash Kumar Singh on 25 July, 2018Author: J Abhay Sapre




(Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.19420 of 2017)

Manju Kumari Singh @
Smt. Manju Singh         ….Appellant(s)


Avinash Kumar Singh             ….Respondent(s)


Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. This appeal is filed by the wife against the final

judgment   and   order   dated   28.02.2017   passed   by

the High Court of Jharkhand at Ranchi in F.A. No.
Signature Not Verified

51 of 2004 whereby the High Court dismissed the
Digitally signed by
Date: 2018.07.25
17:07:14 IST

appeal and affirmed the judgment dated 23.12.2002

passed   by   the   Principal   Judge,   Family   Court,

Singhbhum   East   at   Jamshedpur   in   Matrimonial

Suit No.40 of 2001 by which the marriage between

the appellant­wife and the respondent­husband was


3. Few   facts   need   to   be   mentioned   infra   to

appreciate the short issue involved in the appeal. 

4. The   appellant   is   the   wife   whereas   the

respondent is the husband. The appellant and the

respondent   were   married   on   16.02.1997.   The

appellant   is   serving   as   a   Teacher   whereas   the

respondent   is   a   practicing   advocate.     The   couple

was blessed with a daughter in 1998 and she has

been   living   with   the   appellant   since   birth.     As   on

this   date,   the   daughter   is   studying   and   is   of

marriageable   age.     Unfortunately,   due   to   various

reasons, their married life was not cordial soon after

the   marriage,   which   eventually   led   to   filing   of

divorce   petition   (Matrimonial   Suit   No.40/358   of

2001) by the respondent (husband) in the year 2001

against   the   appellant   (wife)   in   the   Family   Court,

Singhbhum East, Jamshedpur. 

5. The respondent sought divorce inter alia on the

ground   of   cruelty   and   desertion   against   the

appellant.   The   appellant   denied   the   allegations   of

cruelty/desertion and contested the suit by joining


6. By order dated 23.12.2002, the Family Judge

dissolved   the   marriage   between   the   appellant­wife

and   the   respondent­husband   on   the   ground   that

the   allegation   of   cruelty  and  desertion  against  the

appellant   was   proved   and   the   suit   filed   by   the

respondent­husband for the dissolution of marriage

was decreed.

7. The appellant felt aggrieved, filed First Appeal

(51 of 2004)  before the High Court of Jharkhand at

Ranchi.  By order dated 24.09.2008, the High Court

affirmed the order passed by the Family Judge.

8. Challenging the said order, the appellant­wife

filed an appeal before this Court.  Vide order dated

09.01.2015, this Court remanded the matter to the

High   Court   for   fresh   hearing.     Against   the   said

order,   the   respondent­husband   filed   a   review

petition,   which   was   dismissed   vide   this   Court’s

order dated 14.07.2015.

9. After  remanding, the High Court again heard

the   matter.     By   impugned   order,   the   High   Court

dismissed   the   appellant’s   appeal   and   affirmed   the

order   of   the   Family   Judge   and,   in   consequence,

allowed   the   respondent’s   divorce   petition   by

granting   a   decree   of   divorce   in   his   favour   on   the

ground of desertion. It is against this order of the

High Court, the wife (appellant herein) felt aggrieved

and filed the present appeal by way of special leave

in this Court.

10. We   have   heard   the   learned   counsel   for   the

parties,   respondent­in­person   and   perused   the

record of the case.

11.  It is not in dispute that the parties have been

living separately for the last more than a decade. All

attempts   of   reconciliation   through   mediation   have

failed. It is, therefore, clear that there is absolutely

no chance of both living together to continue their

marital life. 

12. In Naveen Kohli v. Neelu Kohli, (2006) 4 SCC

558, the husband had filed petition seeking divorce

on the ground of cruelty on the part of wife.  While

the   matter   was   pending  in the Trial Court, efforts

were made for amicable settlement but without any

success.     Finding  that there  was no  cordiality  left

between the parties to live together, the Trial Court

ordered   dissolution   of   marriage   and   directed   the

husband to deposit Rs.5 lakhs towards permanent

maintenance of the wife.  The appeal at the instance

of   the   wife   having   been   allowed,   the   husband

approached   this   Court   by   filing   an   appeal.     The

observations of this Court in paragraphs 86 and 90

are   relevant   for   our   purposes   and   the   same   are

quoted hereunder:

 “86. In view of the fact that the parties have
been living separately for more than 10 years
and   a   very   large   number   of   aforementioned
criminal   and   civil   proceedings   have   been
initiated   by   the   respondent   against   the
appellant   and   some   proceedings   have   been
initiated   by   the   appellant   against   the
respondent,   the   matrimonial   bond   between
the   parties   is   beyond   repair.   A   marriage
between   the   parties   is   only   in   name.   The
marriage has been wrecked beyond the hope
of salvage, public interest and interest of all
concerned lies in the recognition of the fact
and to declare defunct de jure what is already
defunct  de   facto.   To   keep   the   sham   is
obviously   conducive   to   immorality   and
potentially   more   prejudicial   to   the   public

interest   than   a   dissolution   of   the   marriage

90. Consequently, we set aside the impugned
judgment  of   the   High  Court  and   direct  that
the   marriage   between   the   parties   should   be
dissolved  according  to the  provisions of  the
Hindu   Marriage   Act,   1955.   In   the
extraordinary facts and circumstances of the
case, to resolve the problem in the interest of
all  concerned,   while   dissolving   the  marriage
between the parties, we direct the appellant
to   pay   Rs   25,00,000   (Rupees   twenty­five
lakhs) to the respondent towards permanent
maintenance   to  be   paid   within   eight  weeks.
This   amount   would   include   Rs   5,00,000
(Rupees five lakhs with interest) deposited by
the   appellant   on   the   direction   of   the   trial
court. The respondent would be at liberty to
withdraw   this   amount   with   interest.
Therefore, now the appellant would pay only
Rs   20,00,000   (Rupees   twenty   lakhs)   to   the
respondent   within   the   stipulated   period.   In
case the appellant fails to pay the amount as
indicated above within the stipulated period,
the direction given by us would be of no avail
and   the   appeal   shall   stand   dismissed.   In
awarding   permanent   maintenance   we   have
taken   into   consideration   the   financial
standing of the appellant.”


13.  In  Sanghamitra   Ghosh  v.  Kajal   Kumar

Ghosh,  (2007)   2   SCC   220,   it   was   observed   in

paragraphs 18, 19, 20 and 21 as under: 

“18.  In   the   instant   case,   we   are   fully
convinced   that   the   marriage   between   the
parties has irretrievably broken down because
of   incompatibility   of   temperament.   In   fact
there   has   been   total   disappearance   of
emotional   substratum   in   the   marriage.   The
matrimonial   bond   between   the   parties   is
beyond   repair.   A   marriage   between   the
parties   is   only   in   name.   The   marriage   has
been   wrecked   beyond   the   hope   of   salvage,
therefore, the public interest and interest of
all   concerned   lies   in   the   recognition   of   the
fact   and   to   declare   defunct  de   jure  what   is
already   defunct  de   facto  as   observed   in
Naveen Kohli case(2006) 4 SCC 558. 

19.  In   view   of   peculiar   facts   and
circumstances   of   this   case,   we   consider   it
appropriate   to   exercise   the   jurisdiction   of
this   Court   under   Article   142   of   the

20.  In  order to ensure  that  the parties  may
live   peacefully   in   future,   it   has   become
imperative   that   all   the   cases   pending
between   the   parties   are   directed   to   be
disposed   of.   According   to   our   considered
view,   unless   all   the   pending   cases   are
disposed of and we put a quietus to litigation
between the parties, it is unlikely that they

would   live   happily   and   peacefully   in   future.
In   our   view,   this   will   not   only   help   the
parties,   but   it   would   be   conducive   in   the
interest of the minor son of the parties.

21.  On   consideration   of   the   totality   of   the
facts and circumstances of the case, we deem
it   appropriate   to   pass   the   order   in   the
following terms:
(a) the parties are directed to strictly adhere
to the terms of compromise filed before this
Court   and   also   the   orders   and   directions
passed by this Court;
(b) we direct that the cases pending between
the parties,  as enumerated in the  preceding
paragraphs,   are   disposed   of   in   view   of   the
settlement between the parties; and
(c)   all   pending   cases   arising   out   of   the
matrimonial   proceedings   including   the   case
of   restitution   of   conjugal   rights   and
guardianship   case   between   the   parties   shall
stand   disposed   of   and   consigned   to   the
records   in   the   respective   courts   on   being
moved by either of the parties by providing a
copy of this order, which has settled all those
disputes in terms of the settlement.”
14.  In our considered view, in order to ensure that

the  parties may live peacefully in future and their

daughter   would   be   settled   properly   in   her   life,   a

quietus must be given to all litigations between the

parties. Indeed both the learned counsel appearing

for   the   parties   too   agreed   for   this.     Such   an

approach, in our view, would be consistent with the

approach   adopted   by   this   Court   in   the   aforesaid

matters.     Consistent   with   the   broad   consensus

arrived at between the parties, we consider it just

and   proper   to   dispose   of   the   appeal   with   the

following directions:­ 

(i) The   respondent­husband   will   pay
a   total   sum   of   Rs.   10,00,000/­(ten
lakhs)   in   two   instalments   towards
permanent   alimony   and   maintenance
to the appellant and daughter.
(ii)   First   instalment   of   Rs.   5,00,000/­
would   be   paid   by   the   respondent­
husband   to   the   daughter   by   way   of   a
Demand   Draft   drawn   in   favour   of   his
daughter   within   three   months   from
the date of this order.
(iii)   Second   instalment   of
Rs.5,00,000/­   would   be   paid   by   the

respondent­husband   to   the   daughter
by   way   of   a   Demand   Draft   drawn   in
favour   of   his   daughter   within   four
months   from   the   date   of   payment   of
first instalment. 
(iv)   All   allegations   made   in   pending
cases   arising   out   of   the   matrimonial
proceedings   including   the   one   out   of
which this appeal arises are expunged.
All   proceedings   pending   in   various
Courts, if any, shall stand disposed of

15. In view of the peculiar facts and circumstances

of   this   case,   we   also   consider   it   appropriate   to

exercise   our   power   under   Article   142   of   the

Constitution in order to do substantial justice to the

parties   to   this   appeal   and   accordingly   declare

dissolution of their marriage subject to fulfillment of

the aforesaid conditions.

16. With   the   aforesaid   directions,   the   appeal

stands accordingly disposed of.   No costs.



New Delhi;
July 25, 2018 



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