There is no law that gives a husband the right to beat and torture his wife, and the Delhi High Court while granting divorce to women has ruled on the grounds of cruelty and abandonment by the man.
In this case, the Supreme Court said, it was established that the man had failed to resume companionship with his wife and there was not only physical separation but also “hostility” for not returning her to the marital home.
Taking into account the women’s medical documents, the Supreme Court said, in the absence of any defenses by the man, the woman’s testimony of physical abuse should be considered as supported by the medical documents.
“Simply because the parties were married and the defendant (the man) was her husband, no law gave him the right to subject his wife to beatings and torture. Such behavior on the part of the defendant necessarily qualifies as the physical cruelty which entitles the appellant (the woman) to divorce under section 13 (1) (ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) 1955,” said a panel of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Nina Bansal Krishna.
The court indicated that the man, who was present before it at the time of the verdict, had no objection to granting the divorce.
The court said: “Therefore, we find justification for appeal, and according to this, the marriage between the appellant and the defendant is dissolved.”
The Supreme Court was hearing the woman’s appeal against the decision of the Family Court, which had rejected her petition for a divorce from the man on the grounds of cruelty and desertion.
The Supreme Court noted that the woman alleged that she was left at her parents’ house on May 11, 2013, in an injured condition and then, despite her efforts, the man refused to take her back to the marital home.
She said that the man also did not respond to the woman’s argument that she had not been returned to the marital home, for which there was no reason.
“It was established that the defendant had failed to resume companionship with the appellant, and so there was not only physical separation but also the ‘hostility’ of not returning the appellant to the marital home.
“The defendant had no intention of resuming the marital relationship, which was also reflected when he chose not to contest the petition. The application for divorce was filed after more than two years of separation, and therefore the appellant is also entitled to file for divorce on the ground.” “Abandonment under Section 13 1(b) of the HMA,” the Supreme Court said.
According to the woman’s plea, she and the man got married in February 2013, and have been living with the man’s aunt’s family since the death of his parents long ago.
The woman claimed that shortly after marriage, she was subjected to physical and mental torture and many atrocities were committed against her, which she continued to tolerate in the hope that things would settle down with time.
However, the atrocities committed by the man and his family members continued to increase as they wanted to get rid of her so that the man could remarry into a wealthy family, according to the appeal.
The woman claimed that there was a repeated demand for dowry and that the man had abandoned her and refused to return her to the marital home.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)