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Chronic disease, if treatable, is no ground for divorce: High Court

The court passed these orders while setting aside the decision of the Sirsa district court that had granted divorce to a local resident on the grounds that his wife was suffering from mental disorder.

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Updated: May 09, 2018, 11.24 AM IST
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Chronic disease, if treatable, is no ground for divorce: High Court
HC was also of the view that in such conditions the husband should provide the best of the treatments to the wife and to ensure that the circumstances and the atmosphere at home is kept absolutely cordial.
(This story originally appeared in on May 09, 2018)
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court has held that a chronic disease cannot become the ground of divorce of a couple, “if it is treatable.” HC was also of the view that in such conditions the husband should provide the best of the treatments to the wife and to ensure that the circumstances and the atmosphere at home is kept absolutely cordial.

The court passed these orders while setting aside the decision of the Sirsa district court that had granted divorce to a local resident on the grounds that his wife was suffering from mental disorder and had subjected him to mental and physical cruelty.

She was stated to be suffering from bipolar affective disorder or mamie depressive illness (MDI), which is associated with schizophrenia. Aggrieved from the decision of Sirsa court, passed on August 29, 2013, the wife had approached the HC. During the hearing her appeal, a division bench comprising Justice M M S Bedi and Justice G S Gill examined her medical reports, which suggested that wife was diagnosed as a case of post-partum psychosis and bipolar disorder. The reports, however, also stated that if the patient takes medicines regularly, the number of relapses may decrease. HC also examined the report of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), Rohtak, where the wife was admitted on lower court directions but did not display any sign of mental retardation or disorder during the entire week.

It was specifically opined by the medical board that she was currently not suffering from any mental disorder and that the “bipolar disorder is treatable and not curable”.

After going through the medical reports, the bench observed that it is evident from opinion of doctors that such ailment can be controlled with proper treatment and care.

“The very fact that during the entire week when she was kept under observation is evidence of the fact that the appellant-wife at best can be a case where she has some phases/attacks of such ailment but the same are treatable. Under such circumstances, the husband is expected to provide the best of the treatments to the wife and to ensure the circumstances and the atmosphere at home is kept absolutely cordial as such psychiatric ailments are often triggered or aggravated by hostile environment,” the high court held.
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