No law gives husband right to subject his wife to beatings and torture: Delhi HC
New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has dissolved a decade-old marriage, asserting that marriage does not grant a husband the right to beat and torture his wife.
A division bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna made the observation while deciding an appeal filed by a wife against the dismissal of her petition for divorce on the grounds of cruelty and desertion by her husband.
“Merely because the parties got married and the respondent was her husband, no law gave him the right to subject his wife to beatings and torture,” it said.
The court held that the wife’s testimony of being subjected to physical assault by her husband was supported by medical documents and thus qualified as physical cruelty, which entitled her to divorce under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
The wife had claimed that she experienced physical and mental torture, dowry demands, harassment, and beatings from her husband and his family members. She endured these conditions in the hope that things would improve.
The wife’s testimony was the primary evidence in the case, and there was no challenge to her account. The husband failed to explain the circumstances leading to the wife being left at her parental home and did not counter her testimony about not being brought back to the matrimonial home.
The court noted that this lack of effort to resume the companionship and the absence of intention to continue the matrimonial relationship were evident in the husband’s decision not to contest the petition.
The court also ruled that the petition for divorce was filed after more than two years of separation, which entitled the wife to divorce on the ground of desertion under Section 13(1)(ib) of the Hindu Marriage Act.