The Delhi High Court in an appeal before them has held that unilateral withdrawal of consent by a spouse at the time of mutual divorce without any grounds amounts to mental cruelty. In a case filed by a husband against a trial court’s order by which the couple, who got married in March 2004, mutually decided to separate but the husband withdrew his consent at the time of recording of second motion. The trial court allowed the woman’s petition for divorce on the ground of cruelty. Challenging the trial court verdict, the husband moved the High court in an appeal. The Court held that “the fact is where he has entered into a settlement with his wife and there being no allegation that he ever signed such settlement due to force, fraud or undue influence and also when the respondent (woman) had acted upon such settlement by withdrawing her divorce petition; foresaking her claim to custody of their son and of her permanent alimony, then the withdrawal of consent would have a different connotation as it adds to the misery of the respondent.” The bench noted that the respondent (woman) was always willing to abide by the terms and conditions of the settlement deed and had voluntarily given up her claim of alimony and honoured her commitment arising out of the settlement.
Rajiv Chhikara vs.Sandhya Mathur Delhi High Court