Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mental Cruelty Sufficient Grounds for Divorce: HC

Mental Cruelty Sufficient Grounds for Divorce: HC

04 January 2014 By Umesh R Yadav

The High Court granted divorce to an assistant film producer, accepting his contention that he had been subjected to mental cruelty by his wife.

The word ‘cruelty’ is not defined in the Hindu Marriage Act, but cruelty includes mental cruelty, the High Court observed.
Its order said, “Mental cruelty can particularly be defined as that conduct which inflicts upon the other party such mental pain as would make it not possible for that party to live with the other.”

Kishor had approached the HC, seeking divorce from Ananya (names changed) after his petition was rejected by a family court.

Ananya made unreasonable demands for money, filed motivated complaints against Kishor and his family, threatened and attempted suicide, and refused to consummate the marriage. All these amount to mental cruelty, the HC ruled.

A Division Bench headed by Justice K L Manjunath dissolved the marriage, stating Kishore has sufficiently proved the cruelty meted out to him by his wife, once his “dream girl”.

Demand for `20L

The HC described as unjustified the wife’s demands for `20 lakh as a lump sum, `20,000 as monthly maintenance and a separate house. It also took a stern view of her actions, such as filing a dowry harassment case to coincide with Kishor’s younger brother’s engagement. Following this, members of his family were arrested and whisked away from a marriage hall. This definitely amounts to mental cruelty, the court ruled. Given the mentality of Ananya, it is unrealistic to expect Kishor to live with her, the court remarked.

“If the husband and wife are not living together, it also leads to mental cruelty on the husband,” the order said.

Failed Romance

Kishor married Ananya on March 26, 2006 by giving `1 lakh to her father as demanded by her, but she told him they could make love only after he had produced HIV test results.

An upset Kishor went to a lab soon after and tested negative. She then demanded certificates to prove he had no diabetes or high blood pressure. She reportedly asked him for an overall ‘fitness certificate’.

Kishor underwent all tests, and the results showed he was in good health. Kishor then decided life would be difficult with her since she was full of suspicion and moved out.


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