New Delhi: Denying sex to one’s husband for a long time without any justification amounts to mental cruelty and constitutes ground for divorce, the Delhi high court said on Thursday.
The court announced its verdict on a petition filed by a man who wants to get a divorce on the grounds that his wife has not allowed him to have physical relations with her for four-and-a-half years even though she does not suffer from any physical disability.
The high court granted a decree of divorce to the petitioner, noting that his wife had not specifically denied the allegation in court.
“In view (of) the foregoing discussion, we are of the considered view that the husband has fully established that he was subjected to mental cruelty by the wife by denying sex to him for a long period despite living under the same roof, without any justification and though she was not suffering from any physical disability,” the bench, comprising Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani, said.
The husband had challenged a trial court order from March which dismissed his petition for divorce on the grounds that the instances of cruelty pleaded and proved by him did not satisfy the standard of cruelty as per the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
In its verdict, the high court noted that the wife had initially appeared before the trial court but her refusal to appear thereafter despite being served with a noticed prompted the court to rule against her.
The husband told the high court that his marriage was solemnised on November 26, 2001 in Haryana and him and his wife had two sons, who were aged ten and nine when he filed his plea in the trial court in 2013.
The man claimed that him and his family members were subjected to mental cruelty by his wife due to her refusal to do household work. When her conduct became unbearable, his parents asked the couple to live separately from them in another portion of the same house, he said.
He also claimed his wife had not permitted him to have physical relations for the last four-and-a-half-years.
In her written statement filed before the trial court, the wife had initially contested the divorce plea filed by her husband, denying all his allegations.
In its judgement, the bench referred to the settled legal position that “denial of sex to a spouse itself amounts to causing mental cruelty”.
“The appeal being well founded deserves to be allowed,” the court said, adding “we grant a decree of divorce in favour of the husband on the ground of cruelty by dissolving his marriage with the wife that had been solemnised”.