The Allahabad High Court while granting a decree of Divorce to a man has held that not allowing a spouse for a long time to have sexual intercourse without sufficient reason amounts to mental cruelty.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Suneet Kumar and Justice Rajendra Kumar observed, “Undoubtedly, not allowing a spouse for a long time, to have sexual intercourse by his or her partner, without sufficient reason, itself amounts mental cruelty to such spouse. A Bench of Three Judges of Apex Court in Samar Ghosh vs. Jaya Ghosh (2007) 4 SCC 511 has enumerated some of the illustrations of mental cruelty.”

The Bench said that the Family Court adopted a hyper-technical approach and passed the order of dismissal of the appellant's case. “There is nothing on record to controvert the evidence of plaintiff-appellant”, also said the Court.

Advocates M. Islam and Ahmad Saeed appeared on behalf of the appellant.

In this case, an appeal challenged the dismissal order passed by the Family Court on a divorce petition filed by the appellant i.e., the husband under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. After the marriage between the appellant and respondent, the behaviour and conduct of the wife were good but suddenly she refused to live with him as his wife.

The appellant tried a lot to convince the respondent but she did not establish a relationship with him and according to him, they both lived under the same roof for some time after which his wife lived separately at her parents’ house. Thereafter, the appellant sought a decree of divorce based on mental cruelty but the respondent did not turn up in the Court and the case was directed to proceed ex-parte.

The High Court in view of the facts and circumstances of the case noted, “Since there is no acceptable view in which a spouse can be compelled to resume life with the consort, nothing is given by trying to keep the parties tied forever to a marriage than that has ceased to in fact. … From the perusal of plaint and other evidence available on record, we are unable to persuade ourselves to accept the view taken by the court below.”

Accordingly, the Court allowed the plea, quashed the order of the Family Court, and granted the decree of divorce.

Cause Title- Ravindra Pratap Yadav v. Asha Devi and Others (Neutral Citation: 2023:AHC:106512-DB)

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