New Delhi: The Supreme Court has approved renowned Mandolin player U Srinivas' divorce with his wife U Sree on the ground that he was treated cruelly by her.
While holding that Srinivas has proved his case of mental cruelty for seeking divorce, a bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra, however, asked him to pay Rs 50 lakh to ensure that his wife lives with dignity and comfort and not in penury after the divorce.
"From the foregoing analysis, it is established that the husband has proved his case of mental cruelty which was the foundation for seeking divorce. Therefore, despite dislodging the finding of desertion, we conclude and hold that the respondent husband has rightly been granted a decree of divorce," the bench said.It passed the order on Sree's plea challenging the Madras High Court order which had upheld a family court’s decision to grant the decree of divorce to Srinivas.
"Regard being had to the status of the husband, the social strata to which the parties belong and further taking note of the orders of this court on earlier occasions, we think it appropriate to fix the permanent alimony at Rs 50 lakh which shall be deposited before the family court judge within a
period of four months out of which Rs 20 lakh shall be kept in a fixed deposit in the name of the son," it said.
Srinivas married Sree, an IAS officer's daughter on 19 November, 1994 but she has been living away with their son for the last 16 years.
After hearing both the sides, the apex court came to the conclusion that Srinivas has proved his case of mental cruelty.
"It has been graphically demonstrated that she had not shown the slightest concern for the public image of her husband on many occasions by putting him in embarrassing situations, leading to humiliation. She has made wild allegations about conspiracy in her husband’s family to get him married again for dowry and there is no evidence on record to substantiate the same," the bench said.
It, however, increased the amount of alimony which was fixed at Rs five lakh by the family court and increased it to Rs 50 lakh.
"It is the duty of the court to see that the wife lives with dignity and comfort and not in penury. The living need not be luxurious but simultaneously she should not be left to live in discomfort. The court has to act with pragmatic sensibility to such an issue so that the wife does not meet any kind of man-made misfortune," the bench said.