Gaining weight after marriage cannot be a ground for granting divorce, the Bombay High Court has held while rejecting a husband’s plea for dissolving marriage as his wife had put on excess flab.
One of the grounds for seeking divorce was that the wife had concealed from her husband that she had undergone a breast surgery before marriage as a result of which she gained weight later.
The husband had complained that because of ‘ailment’ suffered by her, he could not enjoy the pleasures of matrimonial life.
In the petition, the husband alleged that after the marriage, his wife started putting on weight. He contended that though he tried to persuade her to take medical treatment, she declined to cooperate.
He submitted that his wife always declined to do household work and that he was required to do the said work. He also alleged that she never fulfilled his expectations and that she never performed her duties as a wife.
He said that he and his wife did not enjoy healthy sexual relations.
However, the court noted that the husband had admitted that the marriage was consummated. His grievance was therefore only about his wife being overweight and this could not be a ground for seeking divorce, said a bench of justices M S Sonak and A S Oka.
The court also noted that the allegation of the husband that the respondent was of quarrelsome nature and that she was adamant, constitute the normal wear and tear of marriage and by itself was no ground for divorce.
After marriage, the couple stayed in Pune. As they could not get along well, the husband applied for divorce in a family court in Pune which rejected his plea.
He later moved the Bombay High Court which dismissed his appeal, observing that gaining weight cannot be a ground for granting divorce.
The husband said that he had met his wife through a marriage bureau in Solapur and that she had not disclosed in the form that she had undergone a surgery of ‘hypertrophic breasts’. After marriage, she gained weight because of the surgery, he claimed.
The wife submitted that there was no column in the form where she could have stated about her surgery. She said she had no intention to hide this from her husband.
She also denied allegations of her husband that before the marriage he had specifically asked her about any major operation undergone by her and still she did not disclose it.
The man alleged that the material information was suppressed by his wife before solemnisation of the marriage and on being questioned by him after the marriage, she responded saying that there was nothing serious about the surgery.
She told the court that information regarding the surgery was disclosed by her family members to the husband and his family members before the solemnisation of marriage.
The husband argued that this was a case of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
The court held, “Even assuming that there is an irretrievable breakdown of marriage, under section 13 of the said Act, the break down of the marriage is no ground to grant a decree of divorce.”
The judges said, “The husband has failed to substantiate allegations made by him against his wife which are of very serious nature. Therefore, it is very difficult to believe the testimony of the appellant (husband).
“The allegations that the respondent (wife) was of quarrelsome nature and that the respondent is adamant, constitute the normal wear and tear of marriage and by itself no ground for divorce,” said the court while dismissing the appeal filed by the husband against the Pune family court order.
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