If a man is not willing to shift to a separate accommodation with his wife leaving behind the rest of his family, it will not amount to cruelty.
This is what the Bombay high court observed recently while refusing to allow an appeal filed by a 36-year-old woman seeking divorce from her husband whom
she stayed with for three years.
She now lives at her parents' house with her twins.
"The demand for a separate house cannot be considered cause of cruelty. Similarly, non-acceptance of such a demand by the husband cannot be cruelty," said division bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice MRBhatkar in its order.
The bench was hearing Reshma Kapoor's (name changed) appeal, challenging the family court order of June 23, 2003, dismissing her plea for divorce from her husband Bharat Kapoor (name changed).
The couple married in 1993. After living with her husband for three years inKolhapur, she left his house and started staying with her parents in Pune.Reshma stated in her plea that she was not given freedom in the house and was harassed by her husband's mother and sisters-in-law.
She also alleged that she was not allowed to speak to her husband and her sisters-in-law used to quarrel with her often.
In July 1996, her husband's family objected to her visiting a temple atKolhapur. There was a big quarrel in the house over the issue and Bharatslapped her.
Bharat denied the allegation. "Reshma wanted to reside separately only with me and wanted to enjoy life without taking any responsibility. Despite such behavior, I was being a responsible and loving husband and had filed a petition for restitution of conjugal rights," his reply said.
After going through the witnesses' testimony and evidence, the bench said: "These are choices given by the spouses to each other and expression of choice and its refusal is not cruelty."
"Minor disputes and difference of opinion, which are to be adjusted and tolerated, cannot be treated as cruelty," it added.