Supreme Court to Consider Spouse’s Refusal to Recognise and Treat Mental Illness as a Ground for Divorce

Supreme Court Law Insider

Khushi Doshi

Published on: March 5, 2022 at 12:55 IST

The Supreme Court affirmed on Friday to take into account the Legal question of whether a Spouse’s refusal to Recognize a Medical Illness and seek Medical Treatment for it can constitute ‘Cruelty’ as a Ground for Divorce.

The Bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose issued a Notice in a Special Leave Petition filed against a Kerala High Court order dated September 3, 2021, which granted a Divorce Decree because the wife refused to acknowledge her alleged Mental Illness and seek treatment for it.

The husband claimed that his wife suffered from Paranoid Schizophrenia but refused to accept the Medical Diagnosis.

The wife filed an Appeal with the Supreme Court after being dissatisfied with the High Court’s decision. The Bench has stayed the operation of the High Court order by issuing a Notice returnable within 6 weeks.

“The Disruptive Behavioural Disorder becomes ‘Cruelty’ to canvass as a Ground for Divorce, not for the Reason that it is attributed to the ailment one suffers, but for the reason, one refuses to acknowledge ailment and was unwilling to Treat the Ailment”, the High Court had observed.

It was also argued that her Educational Background and Professional Experience demonstrated that she had never withstood a Mental Disorder or Disorder, or even displayed any symptoms and that the same was merely an allegation made against her by her husband.

The wife claimed that her husband and in-laws used to harass her and accuse her of being mentally unstable from the beginning of their marriage.

She stated that she is taking good care of her two daughters born out of wedlock and that she has a good relationship with her neighbors.

It should be noted that the Kerala High Court recently reiterated in a similar Case that refusal to seek treatment for Mental Illness can be a Ground for Divorce.

Also read:

What are the Theories of Divorce?

Hindu Marriage Act 1955

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