Delhi High Court: Not Observing Karwa Chauth Fast Not Grounds for Cruelty

LI Network

Published on: December 23, 2023 at 11:51 IST

The Delhi High Court recently clarified that an individual’s choice not to observe the Karwa Chauth fast does not constitute cruelty and is not sufficient grounds for marital separation.

A Division Bench comprising Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal Krishna emphasized that differing religious beliefs and not performing specific religious duties are not inherently cruel acts.

In a case where a husband sought divorce on grounds of cruelty, the Court upheld the family court’s decision, noting that the wife, in this instance, displayed a lack of respect for the marital bond.

While the Court acknowledged that abstaining from the Karwa Chauth fast is a personal choice and not inherently cruel, it maintained that the overall conduct of the wife demonstrated a disregard for her husband and the sanctity of their marriage.

The High Court rejected the woman’s appeal challenging the divorce granted to her estranged husband based on cruelty.

The couple, married in 2009 with a daughter born in 2011, faced marital discord from the start, with the husband citing the wife’s indifference to her matrimonial obligations.

Among various grievances, the husband highlighted an incident during Karwa Chauth in 2009 when the wife refused to fast because he failed to recharge her phone.

The Court considered this, along with other instances, such as the wife’s response to the husband’s slip disc injury, where she removed symbols of marriage and declared herself a widow, as evidence of her lack of respect for the marriage.

The court noted that the wife’s conduct, including filing criminal complaints against the husband and his parents without justification, demonstrated cruelty.

The wife’s departure from the matrimonial home within a short period and her failure to make reconciliatory efforts further supported the conclusion that there was no chance of reconciliation between the parties.

Consequently, the Court held that the wife’s actions amounted to cruelty under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, justifying the family court’s decision to grant a divorce. A

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