Published on: 17 September 2023 at 09:30 IST
Court: Supreme Court of India
Citation: Roopa Soni V. Kamalnarayan Soni (2023)
Honourable Supreme Court of India has held that the expression “cruelty” in terms of divorce has an inseparable nexus with human conduct or human behaviour. The cruelty alleged may largely depend upon the type of life the parties are accustomed to or their economic and social conditions. It may also depend upon their culture and human values to which they attach importance.
5. The word ‘cruelty’ under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Act of 1955 has got no fixed meaning, and therefore, gives a very wide discretion to the Court to apply it liberally and contextually. What is cruelty in one case may not be the same for another. As stated, it has to be applied from person to person while taking note of the attending circumstances.
7. We would like to emphasize that an element of subjectivity has to be applied albeit, what constitutes cruelty is objective. Therefore, what is cruelty for a woman in a given case may not be cruelty for a man, and a relatively more elastic and broad approach is required when we examine a case in which a wife seeks divorce. Section 13(1) of the Act of 1955 sets contours and rigours for grant of divorce at the instance of both the parties. Historically, the law of divorce was predominantly built on a conservative canvas based on the fault theory. Preservation of marital sanctity from a societal perspective was considered a prevailing factor. With the adoption of a libertarian attitude, the grounds for separation or dissolution of marriage have been construed with latitudinarianism.
Drafted By Abhijit Mishra