A man cannot accuse his wife of cruelty if she refuses to have sex with him during her pregnancy and claim divorce for that reason, the Delhi high court has said.
Instances of a wife waking up late in the morning or asking her husband for tea in bed will also not be construed as grounds for divorce, it added.
“The assertion that a wife gets up late and wants tea served to her would, at best, show that she is lazy, and laziness is not cruelty,” a bench headed by justice Pradeep Nandrajog said in a significant verdict, rejecting a man’s divorce petition.
The petitioner had called his wife cruel because she refused to have sex during pregnancy. He had also questioned her insistence that she be served tea in bed.
“A wife who’s carrying a foetus in her womb would obviously be inconvenienced by sex, and it would not constitute cruelty even if one assumes that she totally shunned sex with the petitioner as her pregnancy advanced,” the bench said.
Upholding a trial court’s verdict, the high court said the man had failed to disclose any particulars regarding the allegations he made against his wife.
The man’s petition contended that his wife had been thwarting his advances since August 2012, spurring him to live separately. However, the court noted that the couple was blessed with a baby girl within a year of their marriage.
It termed the husband’s allegations that the wife was having an illicit affair as “vague”. The court also said that the husband had failed to cite the circumstances required to prove his other charges that his partner was being harsh, cruel and verbally abusive towards his family members.