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divorce under cruelty

Page no : 2

sameer (v)     03 November 2010

Will somebody kindly share the copy for the recent SC verdict on cruelty and divorce as referred by Mr. Valentine earlier in this thread?


help_divorce (SC)     09 November 2010

My estranged wife has alleged that I used to physically torture her. At the marriage counselling sessions also, she keeps telling the counsellor that I used to hit her. I have not commited any such grave attrocities. Is mere allegation sufficient to get divorce under 13(ia)? Wont she have to provide evidence for the same?

Ghajini (SSE)     09 November 2010


Well, she has to prove whatever she is saying, mere saying is not enough, evidences needs to be produced..dont worry ...

Nitish Banka (lawyer)     05 September 2017



Getting Divorce on Cruelty

The degree of proof needed to prove cruelty and getting divorce on grounds of it is far less than in the cases of 498a, because in divorce cases preponderance of evidence is more important than proving cruelty than proving it beyond reasonable doubt.

In recent judgement


Cruelty for the purpose of Section 13(1)(ia) is to be taken as a behavior by one spouse towards the other which causes reasonable apprehension in the mind of the latter that it is not safe for him or her to continue the matrimonial relationship with the other. Mental cruelty is a state of mind and feeling with one of the spouses due to the behavior or behavioral pattern by the other. Unlike the case of physical cruelty the mental cruelty is difficult to establish by direct evidence. It is necessarily a matter of inference to be drawn from the facts and circumstances of the case. A feeling of anguish, disappointment and frustration in one spouse caused by the conduct of the other can only be appreciated on assessing the attending facts and circumstances in which the two partners of matrimonial life have been living. The inference has to be drawn from the attending facts and circumstances taken cumulatively. In case of mental cruelty it will not be a correct approach to take an instance of misbehavior in isolation and then pose the question whether such behaviour is sufficient by itself to cause mental cruelty. The approach should be to take the cumulative effect of the facts and circumstances emerging from the evidence on record and then draw a fair inference whether the petitioner in the divorce petition has been subjected to mental trauma due to conduct of the other.



The major thing is that there is a breakdown of marriage because of the conduct and its not possible for husband and wife to live together, there should be a continuous atrocities and it should be apart from the normal wear and tear of marriage.

The married life should be assessed as a whole and a few isolated instances over certain period will not amount to cruelty. The ill-conduct must be precedent for a fairly lengthy period where the relationship has deteriorated to an extent that because of the acts and behavior of a spouse, one party finds it extremely difficult to live with the other party no longer may amount to mental cruelty.


Making certain statements on the spur of the moment and expressing certain displeasure about the behavior of elders may not be characterized as cruelty. Mere trivial irritations, quarrels, normal wear and tear of married life which happens in day to day life in all families would not be adequate for grant of divorce on this ground.

Sustained unjustifiable and reprehensible conduct affecting physical and mental health of the other spouse may lead to mental cruelty.

Therefore for getting divorce on the ground on this ground, whole marriage is to be assessed by the court, remember that the policy of the court is on reconciliation, one or two incidence does not suffice the grounds of cruelty.

By: Nitish Banka

Nitish Banka (lawyer)     30 March 2018

Posted by: Nitish Banka  Categories: Uncategorized 


The most used terminology in the courts of law is “Your Honor I cannot continue this sacred relation because of the cruelty committed on me”, but the shocking and sad state of affair is that the opposite party comes with more severe allegations alleging cruelty which the makes the job of the courts impossible to decide the case and resulting into everlasting litigation, mental agony.

Before I say what cruelty is in the terms of law, it is very important to understand the meaning of the word which is “cruel behavior or attitudes” or if we talk in legal perspective “behavior which causes physical or mental harm to another, especially a spouse, whether intentionally or not.”  Since now a days it has become really difficult to tolerate the other person because of the patience level and expectations, most of the cases are coming forward with a tagline divorce on the ground of cruelty. Then the question arises as to what can be termed as cruelty and how it can be proved in the courts of law.


And most of the cases fail in the court of law is due to the lack of evidence because the acts committed under cruelty are committed within the four walls of the house and the mere exaggerated allegations to any level goes unproved resulting into injustice to the party who is a genuine sufferer and result into the suffering for the party against whom the allegations are put forward.


I wish to quote some instances which could be termed as cruelty and the Hon’ble Courts have time and again have taken those instances as such which goes beyond the purview of the normal wear and tear of life and which actually can be considered as cruelty and making it difficult for one spouse to live with the other or that the marriage has broken irretrievably that the parties cannot be expected to live together under one roof.


Instances which could be considered as cruelty and accepted by the Hon’ble Courts as cruelty can be categorized as follows:-


1. Act of the wife not allowing her husband to live in matrimonial home constitutes both mental and physical cruelty.


2. Where the husband remained unemployed during his stay with his wife and started spending money on liquor indiscriminately, used to come home late at night, gave physical beatings as well as mentally tortured the wife and also demanded share in his wife’s flat.


3. Threatening the husband that she would commit suicide, persuaded husband to leave his parents, filed false case under section 498A of the IPC and also dowry case against husband and his family members.


4. Conduct of the husband of continues abusing and ugly and foul language and also alleging the wife of having an extra-marital relationship without any good reason will make the relation between the parties a soured relation and as such the parties cannot be expected to live together.


5. Verbal abuses and insults by using foul and abusive language, disturbing mental peace and every conduct which causes a mental tension as to affect the health or likely to affect the health of the other spouse will be considered as cruelty.


6. A spouse staying away can cause mental cruelty to the other spouse by sending vulgar and defamatory letters or notices or filing false complaints containing indecent allegations or by initiating number of judicial proceedings making the others spouse’s life miserable.


7. Culture, human value, economic and social conditions will be an important factor in deciding the allegations made in the cruelty.


8. Lack of mutual trust, confidence, faith and having doubt on each other whenever the other spouse fails to answer the call and making remarks on her character will amount to cruelty, rupturing the matrimonial relation and the other spouse cannot be expected to stay in that environment.


9. Where the husband is lethargic, does  not work, is parasitical, selfish or callous provides no money for the household or refuses to undertake payment to meet the household expenses, the wife cannot be expected to stay with the husband.


10. Spouses not behaving in a respectful and cordial manner with the parents of each other would be considered as cruelty.


11. Constant insults, abuses and accusations of adulterous character which make the married life impossible to be endured, constitute mental cruelty of a kind worse than physical violence.


Above mentioned are just the glimpse of the cases in which the Hon’ble Courts have held the have the cruelty being committed by one spouse towards to the other and the courts cannot expect the other spouse to stay in that house wherein he/she has lost their most cherished fundamental right of life with respect and dignity. The Idea of bringing the cruelty as a ground for divorce is to maintain the self respect and dignity of the spouses living under the same roof and who have decided to stay together for their life in all good and bad times.


Last but not the least is that whenever the spouses comes before the court of law to file their cases with the weak evidence or lack of evidence, the cases end up in dismissal and harassment, but after the amendment of the Information Act, 2009 any spouse can keep a audio or video recording, messages etc. to be used in the court of law to ensure a




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