Refusal to wear sakha and sindoor is akin to refusal to accept marriage, the Gauhati High Court stated on June 29 while hearing a matrimonial appeal against a family court order, LiveLaw has reported.
The bench of Chief Justice Ajai Lamba and Justice Soumitra Saikia said if a woman gets married as per Hindu rituals and customs, then “her refusal to wear sakha and sindoor will project her to be unmarried and/or signify her refusal to accept the marriage”.
In the present case, the wife, during her cross examination, had said, “I am not wearing sindoor right now because I do not consider him my husband.”
Considering this, the Gauhati High Court said the family court had “erred in evaluating the evidence in the proper perspective” and that compelling the husband to be married “may be construed as harassment inflicted by the wife upon the husband and his family members”.
In addition, the wife had refused to reside with her in-laws and demanded a separate accommodation in a rented apartment.
To this, the bench observed that the act of “compelling” the husband to live away from his family may be construed as an “act of cruelty” under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, which has punishment of imprisonment as well as fine.
Besides, the wife had filed three criminal cases against the husband and his family. One of the cases has been dismissed.
To this, the Gauhati High Court said filing of criminal cases against the husband or his family, which are subsequently dismissed by the family court, “is sufficient to be construed as an act of cruelty by the wife”.
Saying that there is sufficient evidence to show “no matrimonial harmony” between the two parties, the court granted divorce.