Wilful denial of sex to one’s spouse without any reasonable excuse that too on the first night amounts to cruelty is a valid ground for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, the Delhi high court has said.
"Marriage without sex will be an insipid relation,” Justice Kailash Gambhir said putting an end to a 21-year-old “sex starved” marriage of a Delhi couple.
Describing marriage as a sacred institution, the court, said, “Indisputably, there has to be a healthy sexual relationship between a normal couple, but what is normal cannot be put down in black and while.”
The couple had got married on February 17, 1991 and trial court had allowed the husband’s plea for divorce in February 2001 on the ground that his wife refused to have sexual intercourse with him on the wedding night and was unresponsive for a long time before she left him.
Upholding the trial court’s decision, Justice Gambhir cited a Supreme Court judgment to emphasise "sex is the foundation of marriage and marriage without sex is an anathema”.
"The testimony of the husband that the wife was never responsive ... when he had sexual intercourse with her remained unrebutted. Wilful denial of sexual intercourse without reasonable cause would amount to cruelty," it said quoting the SC verdict.
"It is not that the husband had sex with his wife only about 10-15 times from the date of his marriage within a period of five months, but the wife's cruel act of denying sex ... especially on the very first night and then not to actively participate in it even for the said limited period for which no contrary suggestion was given by the wife," it said.