While interpreting Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act that enumerates grounds for divorce, a Bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said: “It is true that even a single act of violence which is of grievous and inexcusable nature satisfies the test of cruelty. Persistence in inordinate sexual demands or malpractices by either spouse can be cruelty if it injures the other spouse.”
The court said the married life should be assessed as a whole and a few isolated instances over certain period will not amount to cruelty. It said this while referring the divorce petition of Gurbux Singh to a larger Bench.
Singh tried to impress the apex court to grant him divorce saying that the marriage had broken down irretrievably as he and his wife were living separately since 2002 and there was no chance of their reunion. He failed to prove that there was cruelty on the part of his wife, who is a librarian in a government institute in Punjab.