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  • In XXX v. XXX, the Karnataka High Court held that if a wife comments on her husband calling him impotent in front of the relatives, then the same would amount to cruelty u/s 13(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955.
  • A division bench composed of Justices S. Sunil Dutt Yadav and K.S. Hemalekha, set aside the trial court judgment which had dismissed the husband's divorce petition.
  • The background of this case is that the couple got married and just after a month, allegedly the behaviour of the wife changed.
  • She allegedly refused to do any household chore and started making allegations that the husband is unfit for matrimonial obligations and disclosed the secret of his impotency to the relatives of both parties.
  • This action on the part of wife caused a lot of embarrassment for the husband who filed a petition seeking divorce.
  • The contention of the husband was that the behaviour of the wife towards her husband and his relatives including calling him impotent in front of everyone, forms mental cruelty and therefore, the husband is entitled to a decree of divorce under section 13(ia) of HMA.
  • The contention raised by the wife was that their marriage was never consummated and this act of her husband created doubt in her mind regarding his incompetency for matrimonial obligations.
  • The Bench observed that the wife will have the onus probandi the impotency of the husband and as the same has not been discharged with, it has caused mental agony to the latter and has made it difficult for him to stay with the wife.
  • The Court further noted that though impotency is not a ground for divorce, false allegations of impotency would amount to mental cruelty and the same is covered under section 13(ia) of HMA. 
  • The Court rejected the contentions of the wife as there was no substantial proof to support the claim and held in favour of the husband.
  • Accordingly, the Ld. Court allowed the appeal in favour of the husband and dissolved the marriage. 


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