Two or three incidents of cruelty sufficient for divorce: HC

The court observed that it is not necessary to narrate each incident of harassment to prove mental or physical cruelty to get divorce.

"Sometimes two or three incidents may be sufficient to prove the cruelty committed by the spouse. Many a times mental cruelty is more severe than physical cruelty.

"It is not necessary for the party to narrate each incident against the other spouse to constitute such conducts as cruelty," Justice Aruna Suresh said.

The High Court turned down the trial court's verdict disallowing the woman's plea on the ground that the allegations levelled by her were "quite general in nature".

The woman had sought divorce on the ground that her estranged husband had subjected her to mental and physical cruelty on several occasions while living together.

The High Court said "the matrimonial bond between the parties has been ruptured beyond repair because of mental and physical cruelty caused by the estranged husband".

The trial court was criticised for not appreciating the allegations by the woman.
"Trial Court did not properly appreciate the uncontroverted statement of the woman when it observed that the allegations of beatings, mental torture, pain and agony suffered by her were quite general ...the appreciation of evidence by the Trial Court is not in the correct perspective on facts and circumstances of the case and evidence adduced on record," the court said.

It said there were enough evidence to indicate that to meet his demands for liquor, the accused physically and mentally tortured the woman.

"Even before this court, he made it clear that he would divorce her only after he was given half share in the house (which she had purchased)," the Judge said.

The court noted that behaviour of the husband towards the woman throughout the fifteen years of their living together has been unreasonable and torturous and his ill behaviour could be safely construed as grave.

"There is evidence to indicate that there was cessation of sexual intercourse, neglect of the woman and the family, his indifferent attitude towards the family and his assertion that she is unchaste, are factors which constitute mental or legal cruelty," the court said.

The couple had got married in 1974. The woman continued to stay with her husband till December 1989 in the hope that his behaviour might improve.

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