Kerala HC Rules Comparing Wife To Other Women And Taunting Her Is Mental Cruelty

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The Kerala High Court said that a husband comparing his wife to other women and repeatedly taunting her amounts to mental cruelty. The court dissolved the marriage of the couple who had filed for divorce 13 years ago on the ground of cruelty.

The matter was brought to the Kerala High Court by the husband after he challenged the family court’s verdict. The family court had granted a divorce on a plea by his wife who had cited cruelty.

The woman had petitioned that her husband did not find her physically attractive and alleged that her husband harassed her and told her she was not “cute” enough for him. Her husband compared her to other women, including his brother’s prospective brides and said she was a let-down compared to them.

The couple got married in 2009 and only stayed together for around a month.

Court Rules That Comparing Wife To Other Women Is Mental Cruelty

A bench of Justices Anil K Narendran and CS Sudha said, “The constant and repeated taunts of husband that the petitioner is not a wife of his expectation; the comparisons with other women etc. would certainly be mental cruelty which a wife cannot be expected to put up with.”

The Kerala High Court said that while an irretrievable breakdown of marriage was not a sufficient reason for divorce, the interest of both parties and society has to be considered. They added that if the parties have separated, stayed separated for a sufficient length of time and a party filed a petition for divorce, then it could be presumed the marriage has broken down.

The Court attempted to reconcile the parties by sending them for mediation but the attempt failed. The husband also referred to several people in their Church attempting to settle the matter, which also failed. According to the high court, preserving the marriage was “bound to be a source of greater misery for the parties”.

The Kerala High Court refused to interfere with the family court’s ruling and said, “Human life has a short span and situations causing misery, cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely… Law cannot turn a blind eye to such situations.”

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