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Wilful denial of sexual relationship amounts to cruelty in marriage: Delhi HC

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | September 18, 2023 08:22 PM

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has upheld the divorce granted to a couple whose marriage effectively lasted for only 35 days due to non-consummation and the wife's resistance.

The court noted that wilful denial of sexual relation by a spouse amounts to cruelty, especially in newly-married couples.

A bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Kumar Bansal also observed that marriage without a sexual relationship is problematic and that disappointment in sexual relations is fatal to a marriage.

The court found that the marriage in this matter was not consummated due to the wife's resistance and that her filing of a dowry harassment complaint without sufficient evidence could also be considered cruelty.

“... not only did the marriage between the parties subsist for barely 35 days, but failed completely on account of deprivation of conjugal rights and non-consummation of marriage, ” the bench said.

The court concluded that the husband was entitled to a divorce based on cruelty, even though the ground of desertion was not proven.

“Making allegations of dowry harassment resulted in the registration of an FIR and the trial to follow can only be termed as an act of cruelty when the appellant has failed to prove even one incident of dowry demand, ” the court said.

The court cited previous judgements that highlighted various acts that may amount to mental cruelty.

“... the apex court laid down various acts which may amount to mental cruelty and one such illustration was unilateral decision of refusal to have intercourse for a considerable period of time without there being no physical incapacity or valid reason, ” it said.

The evidence in this case supported the husband's claim that the wife did not allow him to consummate the marriage

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