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Hindu son can divorce wife if she tries to separate him from old parents

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A Hindu son can divorce his wife for cruelty if she tries to pry him away from his “pious obligation” to live with his aged parents and provide shelter for them, the Supreme Court held.

A woman becomes part of the husband’s family and cannot seek to separate him from his parents for the sole reason that she wants to entirely enjoy his income, a Bench of Justices Anil R Dave and L Nageshwara Rao observed in a judgment.

Insisting her husband to live separately from his parents is a Western thought alien to our culture and ethos, Justice Dave, who wrote the judgment, observed.

“It is not a common practice or desirable culture for a Hindu son in India to get separated from his parents on getting married at the instance of the wife, especially when the son is the only earning member in the family. A son, brought up and given education by his parents, has a moral and legal obligation to take care and maintain the parents, when they become old and when they have either no income or have a meagre income,” Justice Dave wrote.

In India, generally people do not subscribe to the western thought, where, upon getting married or attaining majority, the son gets separated from the family, the court said. In normal circumstances, a wife is expected to be with the family of the husband after the marriage.

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