“There is no law that gives a man the right to beat and torture his wife”: Delhi HC grants divorce to women on grounds of cruelty


While the Delhi High Court granted divorce to a woman on the grounds of cruelty and abandonment by the man, it held that “there is no law that gives a husband the right to beat and torture his wife.”

It was established in the case that the man had failed to resume companionship with his wife and there was not only physical separation but also “hostility” and failure to return her to the marital home, the panel said to Judge Suresh Kumar Kait and Judge Neena Bansal Krishna.

Taking into account the women’s medical documents, the court said, in the absence of any defenses from the man, the woman’s testimony of being physically assaulted should be considered supported by medical documents.

“Just because the two parties got married and the defendant is her husband, no law gave him the right to subject his wife to beatings and torture. Such conduct on the part of the defendant would necessarily amount to physical cruelty which entitles the appellant to divorce under section 13(1)(a) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.”

The court was considering an appeal by a woman to challenge the decision of the Court of First Instance, which rejected her application for a divorce from the man on the grounds of cruelty and desertion.

The woman appellant said that shortly after marriage, she was subjected to physical and mental torture and various atrocities, which she continued to tolerate in the hope of “sorting things out” over time. However, the atrocities committed by the man and his family were increasing day by day, as their only goal was to get rid of her so that they could marry him off to another woman from a well-to-do family.

The woman also said that there was a repeated demand for dowry, and that the man had abandoned her and refused to return her to the marital home.


The seat 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 failed to return her to the marital home.

I also noticed that the man did not object to the woman’s testimony that she had been returned to the marital home, and there was no reason for that.

The court said: “The defendant had no intention of resuming the marital relationship, which was also reflected when he chose not to contest the petition.”

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  • The panel noted that 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 grounds of desertion under section 13 1(b) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

    Furthermore, the court noted that the man who was present before it at the time of the issuance of the order had no objection to the granting of the divorce. “We therefore hold merit in the appeal and the marriage between the appellant and the respondent is hereby dissolved. The appeal has been allowed and all pending applications are disposed of accordingly,” the court ordered.

    Sukriti MishraSukriti Mishra, Lawbeat Reporter, Graduated 2022, Trainer…Read more

    First published: August 29, 2023 at 13:34 IST

    Last updated: August 29, 2023 at 13:34 IST


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