The Bombay High Court recently turned down the plea of city resident for a divorce, saying his wife was “frigid and psychologically impotent”. The court said it could not accept the man’s plea as the couple’s marriage had “been consummated” and they even “had a son”.
A bench of justice AS Oka and justice Anuja Prabhudessai set aside a 2008 family court order that granted the couple divorce, primarily on the man’s allegations of cruelty, desertion and psychological impotence against the his wife. The court said that in such cases where allegations of desertion were being made by the husband, the onus to prove it lies on him.
As for allegations and counter allegations of cruelty, the court said the parties asking for a divorce must prove they were “treated with such cruelty by their partners that continuing to live with them would be injurious to their lives”.
The matter came to the HC bench, after the wife challenged the family court order. She denied all allegations her husband made against her and said even though she tried to mend their relationship, her husband never reciprocated, instead, his family ill-treated her.
The husband had claimed in the family court that despite his apprehensions, his wife chose to work late night shifts, and would frequently quarrel with him and his mother and insult them. He alleged that she would often visit her parent’s house without informing him or his family.
The HC bench dismissed his allegations holding they were “either trivial in nature or vague”, and “therefore, inadequate for granting divorce”.
It noted that since the wife had refuted every allegation levelled against her, the onus lay upon the husband to produce corroborative evidence to prove his claims. In the absence of any such evidence, the family court had erred in granting the divorce.
“These allegations are not corroborated and furthermore, they are nothing more than ordinary wear and tear of married life. The evidence does not indicate the wife was psychologically impotent and had left the matrimonial home without any reasonable cause or with an intention of bringing cohabitation to an end. Hence, we are of the view that the conduct attributed to the wife does not amount to ‘cruelty’,” the bench said.