In India the laws appertaining to divorce have undergone some major changes. Depending upon the peculiarity of the cases, various legal reforms have ensued over the year for both men and women. Precedents, being the essence of a legal system have played a major role in shaping up the divorce procedure in India and molding the family law.
1. The Supreme Court of India in a very recent and much debated judgment of Narendra v. K. Meena has held that the wifeâÄôs act of forcing her husband to be separated from the family constitutes an act of âÄėcrueltyâÄô to grant divorce. Setting aside a High Court judgment, The Bench also held that leveling of false allegations of an extra marital affair and repeated threats to commit suicide would also amount to âÄėmental crueltyâÄô.
2. In the landmark case of Suman Kapur v. Sudhir Kapur it was held that abortion by a woman without her husbandâÄôs knowledge and consent will amount to mental cruelty and a ground for divorce.
The Apex Court went on to define the concept of mental cruelty as follows:-
âÄúMental cruelty is a state of mind. The feeling of deep anguish, disappointment, frustration in one spouse caused by the conduct of the other for a long time may lead to mental cruelty. A sustained course of abusive and humiliating treatment calculated to torture, discommode or render life miserable for the spouse,âÄĚ
3. In Suman Singh v. Sanjay Singh, the Apex Court laid down that no decree of divorce can be obtained on the basis of one isolated incident. The HonâÄôble Supreme Court stated that âÄúA petition seeking divorce on some isolated incidents alleged to have occurred 8-10 years prior to filing of the date of petition cannot furnish a subsisting cause of action to seek divorce after 10 years or so of occurrence of such incidents. The incidents alleged should be of recurring nature or continuing one and they should be in near proximity with the filing of the petition.âÄĚ
4. In another landmark judgment of A. Jayachandra v. Aneel Kaur, the Supreme Court laid down that cruelty does not amount to mere physical violence. Cruelty can have both physical and mental aspect. It was iterated by the HonâÄôble Court that âÄúIt has to be seen whether the conduct was such that no reasonable person would tolerate it.âÄĚ
âÄ¢ Narendra v. K. Meena (2016) 9 SCC 455
âÄ¢ Suman Kapur v. Sudhir Kapur AIR 2009 SC 589
âÄ¢ Suman Singh v. Sanjay Singh AIR 2017 SC 215
âÄ¢ Jayachandra v. Aneel Kaur (2005) 2 SCC 22
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Article Added on Friday, May 12, 2017
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