Not Covering Head With Pallu Is Not Cruelty Against Husband: Bombay HC

Not Covering Head With Pallu Is Not Cruelty Against Husband: Bombay HC


A woman cannot be expected to cover her head with a pallu in this century, the court said.


The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has held that the act of not covering the head with a pallu and removing vermilion from the forehead or mangalsutra would not be acts that constitute cruelty within the meaning of the term, under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act.

In the 21st century, a man would not be entitled to seek a divorce solely on the ground that his wife does not cover her head with the pallu of her saree and sometimes removes the mangalsutra and vermilion from her forehead, the bench comprising Justice Vasanti Naik and Justice VM Deshpande said, while upholding a family court order denying divorce to the husband.

One of the main allegations against the woman in the divorce petition filed by her husband was that she never used to cover her head with the pallu in order to tease him and that she sometimes used to remove vermilion from her forehead and her mangalsutra. The family court had dismissed the husband’s petition for divorce.

The high court also upheld the family court order refusing to grant divorce on the grounds of desertion also. “It is not possible that a married woman would simply leave the matrimonial home never to return without any reason,” the court said.