Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Delhi High Court says a married woman's demand for privacy is not 'cruelty towards her husband'

A married woman's demand for privacy cannot be dubbed as cruelty towards the husband, and nor can it be considered sufficient grounds for divorce, the Delhi High Court has held.
Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Deepa Sharma observed during a recent legal petition that: "Privacy is a fundamental human right.
"The Oxford dictionary defines privacy as ‘a state in which one is not observed or disturbed by other people’. So when a woman enters into matrimony, it is the duty of the family members to provide her privacy".

The observation was made while dismissing a husband’s plea that challenged a 2010 trial court order dismissing his petition seeking dissolution of marriage on the grounds of cruelty.
Besides cruelty, the husband also raised the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage by narrating that their wedlock has virtually lost its meaning as they were living separately for 12 years and had reached a point of no return.
However, the bench said that though the Supreme Court had recommended to the Centre in 2006 an amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act to incorporate irretrievable breakdown as a ground for divorce, it is yet to be done till date.
The court, however, held that the demand for privacy by the wife cannot be termed as cruelty.
The bench noted the trial court’s observation that a wife’s demand to set up a separate home was not unreasonable.
The bench said, "There is no evidence from the husband or his family members showing that they had provided requisite privacy to the wife.
"The family court was therefore correct in holding that such a demand was not unreasonable and as such did not constitute cruelty."
Full Judgement

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