Kerala HC: Wife Shouldn't Face Cruelty For Husband's Sadistic Pleasure

The Kerala High Court said that no wife should be subjected to cruelty or forced to sacrifice her mental and physical well-being for the sadistic pleasure of her life partner. The court gave this ruling while solving a matrimonial dispute.

Rudrani Gupta
New Update
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The Kerala High Court recently ruled that no wife should be subjected to cruelty or forced to sacrifice her mental and physical well-being for the sadistic pleasure of her life partner. The court made this decision while solving a matrimonial dispute in which the husband filed a petition against the Family Court's order denying the dissolution of the marriage. Read on to learn more about the report. 


As per the reports, the petition was heard by a bench of Justices Anil K Narendran and G Girish. The bench said, "No wife could be expected to tolerate the acts of cruelty of the nature borne out of the evidence adduced by the respondent in this case against the appellant, and sacrifice her physical and mental health and personal safety for the sadistic pleasure of her life-partner.”

Contents of the petition filed by the husband

The man had filed a petition after a Family Court denied his appeal for dissolution of marriage. He alleged his wife of committing cruelty by subjecting him to emotional and verbal abuse. He also said that the wife failed to fulfil matrimonial obligations and created disturbances in the household. The man further alleged that the wife had filed a false complaint against him and his family under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.

The wife contested the allegations

However, the wife denied the allegations and said that the appellant's husband subjected her to physical and mental cruelty. She also accused him of demanding dowry and making her undergo a forced abortion. The wife alleged that she is not allowed access to their child. 

The Family Court in its assessment found insufficient evidence for the charges of cruelty against the respondent's wife. The High Court too coincided with the assessment and said that the evidence provided by the respondent's wife clearly showed that she was severely mistreated making it untenable for her to continue the marriage. 


The court further clarified that cruelty in matrimonial cases includes behaviours that risk the health. But in this case, the allegations against the wife are merely about her inability to maintain a harmonious family life. 

Need to differentiate between cruelty and normal wear and tear of marriage

The court added that cruelty needs to be distinguished from normal wear and tear of the marriage. It said,, "Cruelty consists of acts which are dangerous to life, limb or health. Cruelty may be physical or mental. Mental cruelty is the conduct of the spouse which causes mental suffering or fear in continuing the marital life with one’s partner. Cruelty, however, has to be distinguished from ordinary wear and tear of family life. As far as the present case is concerned, the allegations levelled by the appellant, to a great extent, are about the incompatibility of the respondent to lead a cordial family life by taking care of the interests of the appellant and his parents. The above incompatibility attributed to a life partner cannot be classified as cruelty of such a grade which would warrant the dissolution of marital tie.”

Concluding the proceeding, the court said that the tolerance level of the cruelty varies from one couple to another. The background, status and education of the parties play a crucial role in determining whether the cruelty is sufficient enough to justify the dissolution of marriage. 

Hence, the High Court upheld the decision of the Family Court to deny the dissolution of the marriage.  


Kerala High Court Matrimonial Disputes cruelty by husband