Kerala HC discards the theory of matrimonial cruelty to be different for persons belonging to different religions

Kerela HC discards the theory of matrimonial cruelty to be different for persons belonging to different religions

Justices from the Division Bench,  Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas, held that the law cannot recognize various types of cruelty based on religion. In the instant case, the husband and wife had married each other by taking Christian vows. But their bond fell apart due to constant fights between the couple. The husband alleged that his wife, appellant has some behaviour disorder for which she was referred to a psychiatrist as well but she didn’t complete her treatment for the same. He further said that his wife abused, assaulted, and insulted him, his children, and his elderly mother too. For which testimonies were given in his favour but his wife denied the same. The court relied on the case of Samar Ghosh vs. Jaya Ghosh to determine cruelty for the present case at hand. 

“Law cannot recognize different varieties of cruelty as Hindu cruelty, Muslim cruelty, Christian cruelty, or secular cruelty to justify a decree for divorce”, Kerela High Court upheld.

As a result, the Court concluded that matrimonial cruelty must be defined uniformly to justify the issuance of a divorce decree. According to Section 10(1)(x) of the Divorce Act, the cruelty must be such that the petitioner, a spouse has a reasonable fear that living with the respondent would be hurtful or dangerous to them. The term “harmful” or “injurious” cannot, however, be limited to physical harm or injury, according to the Court. The court dismissed the appeal of the wife for restitution of conjugal rights relying on the facts and circumstances of the case.

Anubhuti Awasthi
Hi! I am Anubhuti Awasthi. I am pursuing B.A. LL.B (Hons) from Amity University, Lucknow. Reading and writing keep me alive. I like to explain legal concepts easily. I have a keen interest to take part in moot court competitions and public speaking. I've been an active volunteer of the human rights cause and have worked for it through the various initiatives led at my alma mater. No wonder I've continued to do intensive research and studies on human rights, socio-environmental issues, and criminology. I am driven to contribute my bit towards society at large, by using law as a weapon.