GOLLINS V. GOLLIN [(1963) 2 ALL ER 966]

GOLLINS V. GOLLIN [(1963) 2 ALL ER 966]

It was expressed that in matrimonial cases, the focus is not on the standard of the reasonable person, as is often the case in negligence matters. Rather, the emphasis lies on the specific individuals involved, acknowledging their unique circumstances without imposing preconceived assumptions. In instances of cruelty, it is rare to presume that both spouses behave reasonably, as the existence of cruelty typically indicates otherwise.

Kaslefsky v. Kaslefsky (1950)

It was cautioned against widening the scope of cruelty too extensively, as doing so might lead to granting divorces solely based on incompatibility of temperament. Such an approach, particularly in uncontested cases, must be resisted to safeguard the institution of marriage from being undermined.

N.G. Dastane v. S. Dastane [(1975) 2 SCC 326]

Presided over by Justice Y.V. Chandrachud.

Facts: The appellant filed a petition seeking annulment of his marriage with the respondent, or alternatively, divorce or judicial separation. The annulment was based on fraud, divorce on the grounds of unsoundness of mind, and judicial separation on grounds of cruelty.

The court held:

1. Burden of proof: Section 10 of the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) outlines the grounds for presenting a petition for judicial separation, while Section 23 governs the court's jurisdiction to decree in such cases. These provisions do not mandate proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The court may decree based on a preponderance of probabilities, as it does in civil cases. However, Section 23(l)(a) stipulates that relief can only be granted if the petitioner is not taking advantage of their own wrongdoing.

2. Mental cruelty: The respondent was found guilty of cruelty, but the appellant condoned it through continued cohabitation, even after the cruel behaviour occurred and a child was born during that period. Therefore, divorce was denied due to the condonation by cohabitation.

3. Threats of suicide by the wife constituted cruelty.