Cruelty under Hindu Marriage Act-Kerala HC Expands scope of Cruelty, Holds Ridiculing Husband is Cruelty

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August 16, 2018

Cruelty under Hindu Marriage Act – In this recent case, the High Court of Kerala further expanded the scope of cruelty as a ground for Divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act by holding that ridiculing the husband among his close friends, relatives and also before the officials wherein he was working and challenging his dignity amounts to cruelty in all means.

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Case name: V.V. Prabhakaran v. T. Chandramathi

In the case, the husband and wife were residing separately since 1995 and petition for divorce was filed in the year 2006 alleging cruelty. The Family Court on consideration of evidence and on hearing the parties found that there was no sufficient ground for granting divorce and consequently the application was dismissed, against which this appeal was preferred.

In the case, the husband alleged cruelty on the ground of wife’s misbehavior towards him and that he was subjected to continuous mental cruelty challenging his dignity among his friends, relatives, subordinate officers and higher officials.

Bench’s Verdict

  • In view of the material available on record, the High Court of Kerala noted that it was evident that the respondent wife used to ridicule her husband before the authorities wherein the husband was working, ridiculing him among the officials, friends and relatives.
  • In view of the facts and circumstances of the case, the High Court opined that ridiculing the husband among his close friends, relatives and also before the officials wherein he was working and challenging his dignity amounts to cruelty in all means.
  • The Court also noted that the Respondent wife’s behavior cannot be condoned on a later point of time as it will remain in the mind of the petitioner as an incurable injury.

In view of the aforesaid, the High Court granted divorce to the Petitioner husband in the case.

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