The Chhattisgarh High Court has observed that 'cruelty' in divorce proceedings must be more than the ordinary wear and tear of married life, and must be so grave that the spouse cannot reasonably be expected to live with the other spouse.

In that context, the Bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Ravindra Kumar Agrawal observed that, "cruelty must be something more than “ordinary wear and tear of the married life”. It cannot be decided on the basis of hypersensitivity of the spouse, but it has to be judged on the basis of course of conduct. Furthermore, to constitute cruelty, the conduct complained of should be grave and weighty so as to come to the conclusion that the appellant/spouse cannot be reasonably expected to live with the other spouse."

Counsel Manoj Paranjpe and Counsel Bharat Sharma appeared for the applicant, while Counsel Khulesh Sahu appeared for the respondent.

In this case, the husband filed for divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, alleging cruelty by his wife. Despite attempts to reconcile, the wife continued to behave hostilely, resulting in police complaints and the husband's brief imprisonment. Community meetings were held to resolve the issues, but the wife persisted with her accusations and threats. Eventually, the husband decided that reconciliation was impossible due to his wife's relentless behavior and her unjustified abandonment of the matrimonial home, causing him considerable mental distress.

The High Court observed that, "Bare perusal of allegations made by the applicant/husband in the application and his evidence, as also from the written statement of the respondent wife and her evidence, this court finds that the applicant-husband could not satisfy this court, required under the law, for grant of divorce on the ground of cruelty against him by his wife. Although certain allegations and counter allegations have been made by either of the parties, but that itself are not sufficient to constitute physical or mental cruelty against him."

Resultantly, the appeal was dismissed.


Petitioner: Counsels Manoj Paranjpe, Bharat Sharma

Respondent: Counsel Khulesh Sahu

Cause Title: Ashwan Kumar Sahu vs Savita Sahu

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