Ex Parte Divorce Granted, Landmark Ruling on Cruelty Grounds

Image of a book, lady of justice and a judge hammer. Text overlay says: "Ex Parte Divorce"

New Delhi, February 28, 2024 — In a groundbreaking decision by the Delhi High Court, Matrimonial Appeal (F.C.) 78/2022 witnessed a significant turn of events, resulting in an ex parte divorce in favor of the husband. The judgment, pronounced on February 28, 2024, reflects a crucial legal stance on the grounds of cruelty and unfulfilled marital obligations.

Background of the Case

The appellant, referred to as the husband for privacy reasons, appealed against the dismissal of his Divorce Petition under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The judgment, dated April 6, 2022, had rejected the petition filed by the husband, citing lack of evidence.

Key Points and Testimony

The appellant narrated a harrowing tale of matrimonial discord, alleging persistent demands from the wife for the transfer of agricultural land owned by the husband’s parents. The wife’s unrelenting pressure and alleged threats escalated, causing significant turmoil in the marital relationship.

The husband contended that his attempts to seek intervention from the wife’s family proved futile, as they supported her demands for property transfer. Incidents of harassment, including threats, physical violence, and an attempt to harm the husband’s mother, were presented as evidence of the wife’s alleged cruelty.

Ex Parte Proceedings

Crucially, the respondent, identified as the wife, did not contest the proceedings before the Family Court. Despite being duly served, she refused to appear, resulting in ex parte proceedings. The husband’s claims remained unchallenged.

Court's Ruling and Significance

The High Court, in its judgment on February 28, 2024, overturned the Family Court’s decision. Emphasizing the unchallenged testimony of the husband, the court observed that the wife’s consistent disinterest in the matrimonial relationship and her sole focus on property matters amounted to cruelty.

The ex parte divorce was granted under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, marking a significant legal precedent in cases of cruelty within marital relationships.


This judgment underscores the importance of due process in legal proceedings and establishes a precedent for ex parte divorces in cases of proven cruelty. The ruling reflects the court’s commitment to ensuring justice in marital disputes.

Download Judgment

Click above to download this Judgment in the case titled MAT.APP.(F.C.) 78/2022. It can serve as a valuable resource for legal reference.

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