The Delhi High Court has granted divorce to celebrity chef Kunal Kapur under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, while holding that the conduct of his wife amounted to grave cruelty.

The Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna observed that, "Though marital discords are an inevitable part and parcel of every marriage, however, when such conflicts take the form of disrespect and inconsideration towards their spouse, the marriage itself loses its sanctity."

In a similar vein, it was also said that, "such acts of causing physical harm to a person is a reflection of one's inability to be in control of their temperaments and amounts to cruelty. It is observed in the said evidence that despite requests by the appellant to not continue the fight infront of their son, the respondent remained unbothered by it and acted in the heat of the moment. This kind of conduct would no doubt subject a spouse to grave cruelty."

Senior Counsel Geeta Luthra, along with others, appeared for the appellant, while Senior Counsel Sunil Mittal, along with others, appeared for the respondent.

Kunal Kapur, a renowned chef known for his appearance on MasterChef Seasons, filed an appeal against his wife under the Family Courts Act, 1984, after his petition for divorce was dismissed by the Family Court on October 1, 2018.

The couple married on April 20, 2008, and had a son on February 26, 2012. However, their marriage encountered significant challenges, leading to Kapur filing for divorce under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Kapur alleged instances of cruelty by his wife, including disrespectful behavior towards him and his family, false dowry allegations, quitting her job without contributing financially, making unreasonable demands, physical abuse, and filing false police complaints. Despite Kapur's claims, the Family Court ruled that the acts did not amount to cruelty. Kapur appealed this decision, arguing that his wife's behavior constituted cruelty under the Hindu Marriage Act. Witnesses testified to the wife's disrespectful conduct, and evidence was provided of her quitting her job and making unreasonable demands.

The wife denied the allegations, stating that she sacrificed her career to support her husband and his family financially and argued that Kapur's accusations were baseless attempts to tarnish her reputation.

The Court noted that the respondent had made wild allegations without any sound basis, purely with the intention to disrepute the appellant in the eyes of this Court to get a favourable outcome.In light of the same, it was observed that, "making reckless, defamatory, humiliating and unsubstantiated allegations in public against a spouse amounts to cruelty. In the circumstances of the present case, the appellant was left with no option but to take legal recourse to seek restraint order from the Court."

The Court allowed the appeal, and the appellant was granted divorce, while the Court held that, "conduct of the respondent towards appellant has been such that it is devoid of dignity and empathy towards him. When such is the nature of one spouse towards the other, it brings disgrace to the very essence of marriage and there exist no possible reason as to why he should be compelled to live while enduring the agony of living together."

Appellant:

Appellant: Senior Counsel Geeta Luthra, Counsel Kamakshi Gupta, Apoorva Maheshwari, Anushka Khaitan

Respondent: Senior Counsel Sunil Mittal, Counsels Zeba Khair, Ananya Garg

Cause Title: Kunal Kapur vs Ekta Kapur

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