Setting aside the divorce granted by a family court to a husband on grounds of cruelty and desertion by his wife, the Bombay High Court Tuesday rejected the main contention raised by the husband that the wife was frigid and psychologically impotent and had deprived him of the “pleasures of marital life”.
The High Court was hearing an appeal filed by the wife against the family court order which granted divorce to the husband on the grounds of cruelty and desertion.
The couple were married in 1988 in Mumbai and had a son in 1989. The husband filed for divorce in 2006.
“Their marriage was consummated and they were blessed with a son in 1989. Therefore, the contention of the husband that the wife was frigid and psychologically impotent needs to be rejected outright,” said Justice A S Oka.
The husband had further alleged that his wife had given him permission to have affairs with other women. “The said note, where the wife had allegedly given permission to the husband to have affair with other women certainly cannot be construed as an admission of frigidity or psychological impotency. The inference drawn by the judge on the basis of the said writing is totally erroneous. Furthermore, apart from the bold allegations made by the husband, there is absolutely no evidence to indicate that the wife was repugnant to have physical relationship with the husband or that she had deprived him of marital relationship as to constitute mental cruelty,” the verdict by the High Court read.
Other grounds of cruelty raised by the husband are alleged insulting treatment meted out to his mother by the wife; not changing her work schedule from night shifts to regular office hours as agreed before marriage, which inconvenienced his mother; visiting her parent’s house during pregnancy, often and without permission, and not informing him about the birth of their child.
The court held that these allegations against the wife are either of trivial nature or vague and, therefore, are not adequate for grant of divorce. Moreover, the wife had denied all these allegations. “The evidence does not indicate that the wife by her acts or action or by her conduct had subjected the husband to such physical or mental suffering as to raise reasonable apprehension that it would be harmful or injurious for him to live with the wife. Hence, we are of the view that the conduct attributed to the wife does not amount to ‘cruelty,” said the Bench.
“The moot question is whether the wife had no intention of resuming cohabitation. In this regard, it is pertinent to note that the evidence of wife indicates that she had made attempts to join matrimonial house and that the husband had not allowed her to resume cohabitation,” the Bench observed.