Withholding mutual consent to divorce in failed marriage is cruelty, rules Kerala HC

Kochi, Sept 29 (IANS): The Kerala High Court has ruled that withholding mutual consent to divorce in a failed marriage amounts to cruelty.

A division bench said that the courtroom should not be treated as a battleground for the egos of such parties.

"The court rooms cannot be replaced to allow the parties a battle for grooming their egos and idiosyncratic behaviour. The Court is established for genuine people who honestly dispute on the cause. If they cannot live together even by sharing residence for more than a decade, it can be presumed that sense is lost on both. The idea of no fault divorce is making the people to realise that there is a sensible way of parting on a mutually agreed terms. Withholding mutual consent in a failed marriage is nothing but cruelty," the judgment stated.

The court ruling came as it considereda case in which a petition for divorce was originally filed in 2011. The husband then moved the petition, but was unsuccessful in getting a divorce decree from the family court, leading to an appeal before the High Court.

The couple entered into wedlock in 2002 in a Hindu wedding. By the time this case before the High Court, the two children of the couple had both crossed the age of 18. It was the husband who sought divorce after less than a decade of marriage, alleging cruelty on the part of his wife, which was denied by the latter and she disputed the divorce petition.

The High Court noted from the pleadings that there was constant bickering and a decade had been spent in wrangling for a legal divorce. Besides the court also noted that the appellant-husband, who had moved the case in 2011, have now become senior citizens.

"Many sunsets have re-dawned but life is yet to reset. Attempts for settlement have been failed," the court said, adding that in such a case, refusing to give consent to divorce when the marriage has broken down irrevocably is cruelty. The court, however, clarified that it is not upholding the allegations of cruelty based on any of the pleadings or evidence.

With these observations, the Court allowed the appeal and declared the marriage dissolved.



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Title: Withholding mutual consent to divorce in failed marriage is cruelty, rules Kerala HC

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