The apex court held in Debananda Tamuli vs Smti Kakumoni Kataky, 2022 that the marriage can be dissolved on the ground of desertion if wife is unable to explain the reasonable cause for living at any place other than matrimonial home.

The district court dismissed the petition filed by the husband against his wife on the basis of cruelty and desertion. Afterwards the appeal filed by the husband before Gauhati high court which was also dismissed by the appellate court. Then the filed an appeal before the present court.

The apex court observed that from 1st July 2009 till today they are living separately. She merely on 21st December visited on her matrimonial home on request of mother in law. There is no intention on her part to resume cohabitation. Therefore after taking evidence into account the court said that the factum of separation is proved. She also not tried to prove any reasonable cause for staying away from matrimonial home.

The bench constituted of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Abhay S Oka observed the reasoning in Lachman Utamcand Kirpalani vs Meena, 1964 and section 13 of Hindu Marriage act.

The court observed that the desertion means intentional abandonment of one spouse by another. There is a separation without reasonable cause.

The appeal partially allowed and husband directed to pay 15 lakh to his wife.

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