Published on: October 19, 2023 at 11:00 IST
The Kerala High Court has emphasized that a wife’s inability to prepare food for her husband, stemming from a lack of cooking skills, cannot be considered cruelty sufficient to justify the dissolution of a marriage.
The judgment, delivered by a division bench of Justices Anil K. Narendran and Sophy Thomas, was prompted by a man’s petition seeking a divorce on the grounds of cruelty.
The petitioner alleged that his wife had failed to cook for him and had engaged in disputes, even with his mother, over trivial matters. However, the wife refuted these claims and contended that her husband had sexual perversions, body-shamed her, and was mentally unstable, having discontinued his prescribed medication.
The High Court acknowledged the wife’s concerns about her husband’s behavioral changes and her efforts to seek assistance from his employer to help him return to a normal life.
Additionally, the court recognized that the couple had been living separately for a decade, declaring the marriage practically and emotionally dead.
The High Court firmly asserted that, in legal terms, one party cannot unilaterally decide to terminate a marriage when there are insufficient grounds justifying a divorce. It emphasized that neither party should take advantage of their own faulty actions or inactions to seek divorce.
Ultimately, the High Court dismissed the husband’s plea to dissolve the marriage, highlighting that the wife’s inability to cook was not a valid basis for claiming cruelty.
The couple in question had been married on May 7, 2012, and resided in Abu Dhabi. The court’s ruling underscores the significance of evaluating marriage dissolution claims based on substantial grounds rather than trivial disputes.