"Removal of Mangalsutra by an estranged wife would amount to subjecting the husband to mental cruelty of the highest order," the Madras High Court stated in one of its recent rulings. This is not fake and it really happened in a court of law on Thursday. Naturally, women on Twitter had opinions about the same. While some brought attention to the words, "mental cruelty of the highest order," others tried to explain the significance of mangalsutra. There were also many who shared their husbands are in perfect mental health condition despite them ditching mangalsutra for years. Several others were simply disappointed with the ruling.
"I haven’t worn my mangal sutra in years . The old man seems in perfect mental health," a woman wrote on Twitter. "Mangalsutra is not even mentioned in Hindu Shastras! Infact North Indians never had them as a marriage accessory till ekta kappor serials popularised it.. Wearing black is inauspicious for married in North! Yet courts have time to curtail women rights like this.. Pity the courts!" said another. "The day after my marriage, my husband said Mangal sutra is a symbol of patriarchy and it’s my wish if I want to wear or not but he does not believe in it. I chose not to," shared a third one.
A man mocked the ruling by posting a photo of a stressed man sitting in his office. "Me when my wife removes her mangal sutra," he captioned the photo. Another man pointed out how his family doesn't follow the ritual. "
A Twitterati questioned the education system following the ruling. "One of my school teachers told us that she didn't wear a Mangal Sutra and it was her personal choice she even taught us about respecting women, chivalry and other good things. Now I know how privileged I was, because even High Court judges didn't get that kind of good Education."
A division bench of Justices V M Velumani and S Sounthar made the observation, while allowing a civil miscellaneous appeal from C Sivakumar, working as a professor in a medical college in Erode recently. He sought to quash the orders dated June 15, 2016 of the local Family Court, refusing divorce to him.
When the woman was examined, she admitted that at the time of separation, she removed her thali chain (sacred chain worn by the wife as a token of having married). Though she proceeded to explain that she retained the thali and only removed the chain, the act of removing it had its own significance.
Her counsel, by referring to Section 7 of Hindu Marriage Act submitted that tying of thali is not necessary and hence its removal by the wife, even assuming it was true, would not have any impact on the marital tie.
But, it is a matter of common knowledge that tying of thali is an essential ritual in marriage ceremonies that takes place in this part of the world, the bench pointed out.
The court also cited the orders of a division bench of the High Court, which stated that "from the materials available on record, it is also seen that the petitioner has removed the thali and it is also her own admission that she had kept the same in a bank locker. It was a known fact that no Hindu married woman would remove the thali at any point of time during the lifetime of her husband.
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