Denying Sexual Intercourse May Amount to Cruelty

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi in MAT.APP.(F.C.) 95/2016 has referred and upheld the decision of the Apex Court which states that "not allowing a spouse for long time to have sexual intercourse by his or her partner, without sufficient reason, itself amounted to mental cruelty to such spouse".

In the Present Case the Appellant Wife and the Respondent Husband underwent a ring ceremony on July 08, 2007
After the solemnization of the ceremony whenever the Respondent Husband tried to meet the Appellant Wife, she would give some excuse.

As per the Respondent Husband, the marriage could not be consummated for the reason that the Appellant Wife pretended to be suffering from some medical problem.

The Appellant Wife left for her parental home after December 2007 and returned only after one and half month that too after lot of persuasions. On January 25, 2008 the parties left for Shimla for honeymoon but there also Appellant Wife did not allow the marriage to be consummated and threatened to raise alarm or jump from the balcony in case any attempt was made by the appellant / husband to touch her. After the failed honeymoon, the parties returned to Delhi and again Appellant Wife left for her parents' home and returned after about three months.

Appellant wife's behavior towards the Respondent Husband and his old mother was also insulting and humiliating.
Appellant Wife even went to the residence of Respondent Husband's boss and cried in front of him. She also threatened to humiliate him in front of his colleagues at his work place. The Appellant Wife also filed a complaint before CAW Cell after about two years of separation which resulted into registration of FIR No.321/2011, PS Shalimar Bagh, Delhi. Due to all these incidents Respondent Husband had to leave his job and went into depression

Respondent Husband filed a petition under Section 13(1)(ia) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 seeking dissolution of marriage citing mental cruelty meted out to him by Appellant Wife.

Appellant Wife pleaded that Respondent Husband was an alcoholic and that due to heavy drinking and use of heavy dose of drugs for depression was even not able to have proper and healthy physical relationship with the respondent.
She also alleged that the factum of earlier marriage of the Respondent Husband was concealed. She denied the remaining allegations leveled against her

Family Court vide impugned judgment allowed the divorce petition observing that factum of first marriage of the Appellant Wife was not concealed. Learned Judge, Family Court also noted that the factum of marriage between the parties being a sexless marriage was also established and treating the same to be an act of cruelty, dissolved the marriage.
The Appellant Wife has preferred this appeal impugning the judgment and decree dated April 01, 2016 of the Family Court whereby her marriage with the Respondent Husband has been dissolved on the ground of cruelty

While disposing the appeal the High Court of Delhi referred to the decision reported as AIR 2015 SC 285 Vidhya Viswanathan vs. Kartik Balakrishnan in which the Apex Court has held that not allowing a spouse for long time to have sexual intercourse by his or her partner, without sufficient reason, itself amounted to mental cruelty to such spouse.

The Hon'ble Court further held: Irrespective of the fact that as to who is to be blamed for non-consummation of marriage, the fact remains that the marriage which was solemnized on November 21, 2007 was not consummated. We need not enter into blame game but can take note of the fact that impotency of the husband could not be a probable cause for the reason that prior to that he was married and also had a daughter.

The above instance of non-consummation along with other instances of cruelty mentioned in the Divorce Petition was held sufficient to dissolve the marriage on the ground of cruelty.

The High Court found no illegality or infirmity in the impugned order of the lower Court and hence the appeal was dismissed but without any order as to costs.