Does only a Wife get divorce on the ground of Cruelty? Do Husbands get Divorce from a ‘cruel’ wife? Delhi High Court recently witnessed such a case, when a wife appealed against the Divorce decree granted by the Family Court on the ground that she treated her husband with cruelty. The Delhi High Court, by dismissing her appeal and upholding the view adopted by the family court, also said that wife taunting and assaulting husband for not being able to satisfy sexual desire are grave and weighty matrimonial offences/misconducts.
Parties are not expected to maintain a log book of Matrimonial offences
The prime contention adopted by the appellant wife, was that vague and non-specific allegations can never form the basis of the petition seeking divorce on the ground of cruelty as specific instances of alleged cruelty with dates, time and particulars are required to be made. Rejecting this argument, the Court said “When two parties are in a marital relationship, neither is expected to maintain a logbook and note down therein each and every instance of matrimonial offence committed by the other. When the allegation is that a party showed uncooperative attitude towards his/her spouse and family members; did not show respect to the other spouse and his family members; misbehaved and abused with the opposite party and his family members – in respect of such allegations, it may not be possible to plead a specific date, time or place of occurrence. However, when intolerable conduct/matrimonial offence manifests itself into an incident which has larger proportions, the aggrieved party would be able to pin pointedly – with particulars and details, recite and establish such matrimonial offence.”
Name calling and abuses made with malice constitute cruelty
The Court also observed that name-calling and hurling of abuses such as ‘Hathi’, ‘Mota Hathi’ and ‘Mota Elephant’ by the wife in respect of her husband – even if he was overweight, is bound to strike at his self-respect and self-esteem. The respondent was sensitive to such taunts, and it is not the appellant’s case that the taunts were made jokingly, or out of love and affection, and without malice, the Court observed.
The Court further observed “It has come on record that the appellant taunted the respondent for not being able to satiate her sexual desire on account of his being heavy weight. When the parents and other people from Ghaziabad came and fought with the respondent; abused him and even assaulted him is also a serious incident, and each of this aforesaid incidents are grave and weighty matrimonial offences/misconducts by the appellant, which cannot be described as events relating to normal wear and tear of a marriage. Such events are clearly destructive of the matrimonial bond and would naturally give rise to a bonafide and genuine belief and apprehension in the mind of the respondent that it is not safe for him to peacefully and mentally continue the relationship with the appellant.“
Read the Judgment here.