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Denial of sex in marriage amounts to cruelty, says Chhattisgarh High Court; grants divorce to husband

Noting that the physical relationship between husband and wife is one of the important parts of a healthy married life, the high court noted that the wife treated the husband with cruelty.

Denial of sex in marriage amounts to cruelty, says Chhattisgarh High Court; grants divorce to husband
The husband had approached the High Court after a family court rejected his plea for divorce on the grounds enumerated in Section 13(1)(i-a), (i-b), and (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. (PTI)

The Chhattisgarh High Court has said that denial of sex by one of the spouses in a marital relationship amounts to cruelty. The high court also allowed the divorce plea filed by the husband on the same ground. Noting that the physical relationship between husband and wife is one of the important parts of a healthy married life, the high court noted that the wife treated the husband with cruelty.

After hearing both sides, the court concluded that there was no relationship between them as husband and wife after August 2010 and that was sufficient to draw an inference that there was no physical relationship between them.

“Physical relationship between husband and wife is one of the important parts for healthy married life. Denial of physical relationship to a spouse by others amounts to cruelty. Hence, we are of the view that appellant was treated with cruelty by respondent wife,” said the court.

The husband had approached the High Court after a family court rejected his plea for divorce on the grounds enumerated in Section 13(1)(i-a), (i-b), and (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, reported Live Law.

The duo got married in Bilaspur. After a few months, the woman returned to her paternal home from the matrimonial home and for the next four years, kept visiting her paternal home on days like birthdays and festivals. The plaintiff/appellant then applied for divorce in 2007 under Section 13 (1) (i-a), (i-b), and (iii) of the Act of 1955 before Family Court. The husband had alleged that his wife treated him with cruelty and continuously harassed him mentally, saying he had a bulky physique and was not good-looking. The husband also alleged that she went back to her parents’ house resided there continuously for about four years after the death of her father-in-law and refused to return asking the husband to get settled in her native place.

The Court also noted that Section 12 (1) (i-b) of the 1955 Act envisages that a divorce can be granted if one of the parties deserts another for a continuous period of not less than two years.

“Cohabitation between husband and wife is one of an essential part of a marriage and not submitting by either spouse for relationship may be one of grounds of treating another spouse with cruelty,” said the court.

It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had, in 2014, also upheld a verdict of the Madras High Court granting divorce to a man noting that if a spouse denies sex to a partner without sufficient reason, it amounts to mental cruelty.

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