Mumbai: Not allowing the husband to consummate the marriage and showing “improper interest” towards the brother-in-law amounts to cruelty and is a legitimate ground for divorce, stated a ruling passed by the Bombay high court this week
The high court dissolved the seven-year-old marriage of a Pune-based businessman by granting him a decree of divorce.
The couple, who had tied the knot in November, 2002, had stayed together for only six months.
The husband, in his appeal, had stated that during their honeymoon in Goa, his wife had revealed to him that she was in love with someone else and had been forced to marry. The husband also alleged that the wife did not allow him to consummate the marriage.
It was further alleged by the husband that after returning from the honeymoon, the wife quarrelled with him over petty issues. “She also openly declared her attraction towards my brother,” alleged the husband.
The husband’s appeal stated that on February 13, 2003, when only his brother was at home and their cousin was in the next room, the wife had gone to him under the pretext of serving food. She then sat next to him on the sofa and started getting intimate with him. “My brother raised an alarm and my cousin came running and was shocked to see her clinging to my brother,” stated the husband’s appeal.
In her defence, the wife had argued that the husband and the in-laws had treated her cruelly, as she was under-educated and belonged to a poor family. She also told the court that her husband and in-laws threw her out of the house on March 25, 2003 and since then she has not been allowed to return.
The husband had first moved the family court in Pune, seeking divorce on the ground of cruelty. This was rejected in April, 2005. The high court on May 6 overturned the family court’s ruling and granted divorce to the husband.
The court in its order observed that the wife tried to be physically close to the brother-in-law, followed him into his bedroom under the pretext of some work, and shared dirty jokes with him. Such gestures left the brother-in-law embarrassed, who then requested her to keep away from him, noted the court.
“The allegations of cruelty made against the wife are serious enough and would strike at the very foundation of the marriage. The incidents must have shocked the husband, causing mental anguish and extreme hardship to him. This conduct would undoubtedly amount to mental cruelty,” observed the division bench of Justice AP Deshpande and Justice Rekha Sondurbaldota. The judges also remarked, “It is obvious from the records and proceedings that there is hardly any life left in the marriage of the parties. Their married life lasted only for six months and they have been living separately for the last seven years.”