Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Many women complain about the change in their lifestyle after marriage. Some adapt to the new environment, but some don’t.
Like this 33-year-old homoeopathic doctor who moved the
A division bench of justice AP Deshpande and justice RP Sondurbaldota refused to grant her divorce, saying that being conservative in dressing sense did not amount to cruelty.
The woman, who runs a clinic in Central suburbs, had sought divorce from her husband, an engineer, alleging physical and mental harassment. She also alleged that she was denied her freedom because she was not allowed to wear salwar kameez, and was forced to wear sari.
She moved the high court in 2007 after a family court rejected her divorce plea in 2004. According to the woman’s appeal, she married on June 24, 2003. Less than a month later, on July 18, her father-in-law passed away after having a massive heart attack.
She then went to her parents’ house on August 1, 2003, only to return to her husband’s home in Navi Mumbai a month later.
A few months down the line, the woman filed a criminal case against her husband, mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law under section 498A of the IPC (matrimonial cruelty). She alleged that her hubby’s family was demanding dowry and even assaulted her physically.
The high court, while rejecting the divorce appeal, noted that one of the sisters-in-law was physically handicapped. Also, the family was acquitted from the case.
The woman alleged that her husband had not told her about his siblings. She also alleged that he had multiple extramarital affairs and she was mentally tortured by her conservative in-laws, as they did not allow her to wear salwar kameez.
The judges, however, refused to buy the defence. Taking a note of the financial status of the husband, the judges noted that it was doubtful that he demand dowry.
The high court also observed that since one of her sisters-in-law was physically handicapped, she did not seem capable of assaulting anyone.
“Considering the short duration of co-habitation of the parties and the fact that during the very prior, the husband’s family was under grief on account of loss of his father, there was hardly any scope for the family subjecting the wife to any mental cruelty,” the judges observed.
“Besides, none of the allegations are of such nature as to cause a reasonable apprehension that it would be harmful or injurious to live with the husband. Hence, they cannot constitute ‘cruelty’ as contemplated by section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act.”