Making ‘unscrupulous’ allegations against spouse amounts to mental cruelty justifying divorce: HC

Court says refusing to have marital relationship at very beginning of marriage is also cruelty

The Madras High Court granted a divorce to a couple on the grounds that the reluctance of one spouse to have a marital relationship at the very beginning of marriage, and when the couple is young and newly married, would amount to subjugating the other partner to mental cruelty.

Judges T. Raja and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy also found that the wife’s act of leveling “unscrupulous and unsubstantiated” allegations that the husband was a drunkard, addicted to pornography, attempted to kill her by stacking boxes of crackers under her bed and stealing her jewelry would also amount to subjecting the husband to cruelty.

The judges said such allegations, made without any evidence, damage the husband’s reputation and affect his mental health and he would therefore be entitled to seek a divorce decree. They pointed out that in this case, the wife had also abandoned her husband since 2011.

The bench also said the wife gave noncommittal responses to the husband’s allegation that she avoided the marital relationship, under one pretext or another, during the 90-day period they lived together. Therefore, “we believe that the husband has successfully established the charge of cruelty,” he said.

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