Mr. Ashok, a Hindu by religion married Miss. Sanjana on 17th November, 2011 as per Hindu
rituals. Thereafter they resided in the matrimonial home with the parents of Mr. Ashok. Mr.
Ashok’s mother was an orthodox female and had high belief in mythology and in Hindu God.
She had firm belief that to attain Moksha, a man needs a son, therefore she always insisted on
Sanjana to conceive and give the privilege to them of being grandparents to a grandson.
Miss. Sanjana delivered a baby girl on 9th April, 2013 and thereafter differences arose between
them. Ashok’s mother continuously passed insulting remarks upon Sanjana and her baby girl.
She often remarked that if Sanjana does not give their family a boy, she will ask Ashok to marry
another girl. Several times Ashok fought with his own mother, telling her that he is satisfied with
his wife and has no complaints from her. Sanjana started persuading Ashok to leave the house of
his parents and move to a new house to which Ashok never agreed. He was adamant that he
wants to stay with his family. Finally on 22nd December, 2013 Sanjana, frustrated with the
constant bickering and inability of her husband to change residence, decided to leave the
matrimonial house with her daughter and return to her parent’s house.
Ashok visited Sanjana’s house several times. However never found her at home. He could never
even visit his daughter because Sanjana was never available. Finally, on 2nd January 2016,
Ashok frustrated with Sanjana, filed for divorce u/s 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act alleging
desertion by his wife. The summons was issued to Sanjana at the address shown but the same
were returned by some Ms. Asha marked as ‘refused to accept’. The family court considering it
as good service proceeded with the matter.
The petition was heard ex parte and on the basis of evidence adduced by Ashok, the family court
granted divorce to the husband on 16th September, 2016. The copy of the order was sent by
Ashok to Sanjana on the address provided. On 25th February, 2017, Ashok married Miss Pooja, a
Hindu by religion. Pooja conceived Ashok’s child and was due for delivery on 13th April, 2018.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Sanjana filed an application on 3rd October, 2017 before the High Court, for
condonation of delay for filing appeal against the decree of Family Court granting ex parte
decree to Ashok stating that she was unaware of the proceedings as the summons were served on
the address on which she was not residing. She also stated that her parents moved to a new house
and accordingly, she also went to the new house.
Furthermore, she never had the intention to desert Ashok but only wanted to teach his mother a
lesson. She argued that she was frustrated with the constant remarks by Ashok’s mother and
hence decided to leave the matrimonial house but never desired to sever the matrimonial bond.
1. Weather there were valid grounds for granting the divorce to the respondent?