Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court has ruled that life sentence can be a ground to grant divorce. Rejecting a Miscellaneous First Appeal by a husband serving life in a murder case, a division bench, headed by Justice KL Manjunath in its recent order said when the appellant is convicted for life, even the grounds of desertion have to be taken into account legally because the man cannot live with the wife and give her conjugal happiness.
"For the rest of her life, for no fault of hers, she cannot be made to suffer if marriage is allowed," the court observed while rejecting the appeal of a life convict of Central Prison, Bellary.
The man had challenged the July 18 2011 order of a family court in Shimoga in allowing the petition filed by his wife, seeking divorce on the grounds of cruelty and desertion.
An instructor at a government college in Chitradurga, he has been married to Vijaya for the past 13 years. After marriage, they lived in Malladihalli village for the first six months. During this period, the woman came to know her husband was facing murder and assault charges and duly informed her parents.
However, the man's family claimed he had been falsely implicated in the case and that he should be acquitted. Meanwhile, the couple had a child after which he allegedly started ill-treating his wife.
In November 2000 Ganesh was convicted by a sessions court in a murder case and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. On an appeal by the state, the sentence was enhanced to life imprisonment.
Vijaya moved the family court seeking divorce, which upheld her claim on the grounds of cruelty, but rejected the charge of desertion.