Chhattisgarh HC: Societal Attitude Towards Dark-Skinned Women Must Change

Chhattisgarh High Court has taken a formidable stance against discrimination based on skin color. The court has not only addressed the legal intricacies of marital discord but has also delved into the societal malaise of favoring fair skin over dark skin.

Rudrani Gupta
New Update

Still from an episode of 'Made in Heaven' based on skin colour discrimination. (Zayn Khan/Instagram)

In a remarkable decision, the Chhatisgarh High Court observed that the discriminatory outlook towards dark-skinned women in our society must change. The statement said that dark-skinned women are often portrayed as insecure until a fairness cream is handed over to them, which ensures their success. And this outlook, the court observed, needs to change by tweaking the way we talk about these things at home. 


The case in question, Rewaram Verma v. Smt. Premkumari Verma, involved a husband seeking divorce, alleging desertion by his wife. The wife countered with claims of torture, physical assault during pregnancy, and emotional abuse centered around her dark skin color. The court meticulously evaluated the evidence presented by both parties, ultimately dismissing the husband's appeal for divorce.

Understanding the Matrimonial Dispute

The husband, in his plea, accused the wife of abandoning him without reason and concurrently filing for maintenance under Section 125 of the CrPC. He also said that without any proper cause, his wife sought maintenance from him and alleged charges of cruelty against his wife.

The wife, on the other hand, said that her husband verbally abused her because she had a dark skin tone. She also alleged that he physically assaulted her when she was pregnant. She further said that the husband had evicted her from the matrimonial home. 

The Legal Standpoint

After hearing the case, the court opined that it found the wife's allegations more logical. It dismissed his husband's application for divorce, saying it could not give him the incentive to propel the societal preference of light skin over dark.


The court held, "After cumulative reading of the evidence, we are of the view that no ground of cruelty or desertion has been made out by the husband to get the decree of divorce which are under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955." 

The court opined that  dark-skinned people are often discriminated against as compared to their light-skinned counterparts. The fairness creams and cosmetic industry target dark-skinned women by portraying them as "under-confident and insecure person who is unable to secure success in life until someone suggests the use of a fairness cream. Entire society of the human race needs to change the dialogue at home, which may not promote the fairness preference of skin." 

The court asserted that fostering a preference for fair skin over dark contributes to the perpetuation of discrimination. It emphasized that no individual should be granted the license to abandon their legally wedded spouse based on the sole criterion of skin color.

Dark skinned women fairness creams marital dispute cases Chhatisgarh High Court