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Constant taunts over financial limitations grounds for divorce: Delhi HC

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New Delhi, Feb 3

The Delhi High Court has said that continuous taunts by a wife regarding her husband’s financial capacity and pressuring him to fulfill extravagant dreams beyond his means amount to mental cruelty, justifying a divorce.

The division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal Krishna said that a spouse should not be a constant reminder of financial limitations, and unreasonable demands can create persistent dissatisfaction, leading to mental strain.

The court was dealing with a wife’s appeal, which the bench rejected, challenging a family court order granting divorce to husband on grounds of cruelty.

The family court considered the husband’s plea, stating that the wife’s actions, including forcing him to move, taunting him for taking a loan, and refusing to adjust to limited resources, constituted mental cruelty.

The court observed: “Pressurising a spouse to fulfill distant and whimsical dreams clearly not within his financial reach may create a sense of persistent dissatisfaction, which would be sufficient mental strain to drain the contentment and tranquillity out of any married life.”

Noting the impact of constant bickering and fights on mental well-being, the court noted that seemingly insignificant incidents, when prevailing over time, can create mental stress, making it impossible for the parties to sustain their matrimonial relationship.

The court referred to Section 13(1A)(ii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, stating that the relief under this section, allowing divorce for non-compliance of a decree of restitution of conjugal rights, is an absolute right for either party.

The court rejected the argument that only the party in whose favour the restitution was allowed could seek divorce, stating that the language of the section indicates that either party can avail the remedy in case of non-compliance.

The bench upheld the family court’s conclusion, stressing the husband’s mental strain and the absence of restitution of conjugal rights despite a court decree.

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