Denial of conjugal rights cruelty, says Delhi HC

According to the husband, the appellant (wife) had hesitation to establish a physical relationship with him. On the first night, her behaviour was abnormal and she did not let him touch her.
Representational image of Delhi High Court (File Photo | PTI)
Representational image of Delhi High Court (File Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has observed that wilful denial of a sexual relationship by a spouse amounts to cruelty while upholding a divorce decree granted to a couple whose marriage subsisted for barely 35 days and failed on account of non-consummation of marriage.

Dismissing the wife’s appeal against a family court’s order for divorce, a bench headed by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait pointed out that the high court had already observed that “the marriage without sex is an anathema and denial of sex in marriage has extremely unfavourable influence and there is nothing more fatal to marriage than disappointment in a sexual relationship.”

In the present case, not only did the marriage between the parties subsist for barely 35 days but failed completely on account of deprivation of conjugal rights and consummation of marriage, the high court held.

As per the case, the couple got married on May 10, 2004. According to the husband, the appellant (wife) had hesitation to establish a physical relationship with him. On the first night, her behaviour was abnormal and she did not let him touch her.

His affidavit had categorically deposed that their marriage which lasted for barely two months never got consummated. “It is evident that on account of hesitation and reluctance of appellant towards physical intimacy, differences arose between the parties,” the order read.

Their marriage had a rocky start and unfortunately, differences and the mistrust that was generated in the beginning did not let their relationship flourish further, it was stated. It was also noted by the high court that there was an FIR filed against the husband and family on the basis of a dowry complaint made by the wife.

However, the court observed, “There is no cogent evidence led by her in the present case that the demands were being made for dowry by the respondent-husband or his family members or she was harassed or physically tortured,”

The high court, upholding the family court order, said, “It has rightly concluded that though the desertion has not been proved the conduct of the appellant-wife towards the respondent-husband amounted to cruelty, entitling him to the decree of divorce under Section 13(1)(a) of the Act, 1955.”
“..we find no infirmity in the impugned Judgment of the learned Principal Judge, Family Courts,” the order stated. 


Two separate pleas on polygamy, talaq junked 

The HC on Monday turned down two petitions-- one on polygamy and another on divorce (talaq-ul-sunnat) by a Muslim husband as they were pending before the Supreme Court. The high court said no further orders are needed to be passed on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a declaration that bigamy or polygamy by a Muslim husband in the absence of prior written consent of the existing wife or wives and arrangements for her accommodation and maintenance is unconstitutional and illegal

MCD stance sought on Afghan students’ plea 

The HC on Monday sought MCD’s response on a PIL claiming that Afghanistan refugee students studying in a primary school of the corporation are deprived of statutory monetary benefits on the grounds of non-opening of their bank accounts. The plea filed by NGO Social Jurist said depriving Afghan refugee students of statutory benefits violates the fundamental right to education.

‘Choice of life partner not influenced by faith, religion’

The choice of a life partner cannot be affected by matters of faith and religion, the HC has said, observing the right to marry is an incident of human liberty. The court said the right to marry a person of one’s choice has been underscored not only in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but is also an integral facet of Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.

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