Friday, July 19, 2024

Denial of sex by spouse can amount to mental cruelty, rules Delhi HC

Setting aside a trial court’s order, the Delhi High Court has ruled that denial of sex by spouse can be considered as mental cruelty, but it must be persistent, intentional, and over a considerable period of time.

The lower court had granted divorce to a husband based on his claim of mental cruelty by his wife.

The husband sought divorce, alleging that his wife was not interested in living with him in their matrimonial home and wanted him to live with her at her parental home as a “ghar jamai”.

The man claimed that his wife deserted him on various pretexts, prioritised her coaching centre over their marriage, and denied him sex.

The court, while considering the wife’s appeal, stressed that allegations of sexual denial should be dealt with carefully due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

The court said these claims cannot be based on vague and unspecific statements, especially when the marriage has been consummated.

In this case, the husband failed to prove any mental cruelty, and the court found the situation to be a normal wear and tear of the matrimonial bond.

It noted that the discord was primarily between the wife and her mother-in-law, noting that trivial irritations should not be confused with mental cruelty.

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