Kerala High Court Denies Divorce Petition Citing Lack of Evidence of Cruelty

Kerala High Court Denies Divorce Petition Citing Lack of Evidence of Cruelty

Kerala High Court Denies Divorce Petition Citing Lack of Evidence of Cruelty

The Kerala High Court at Ernakulam, presided by Justices Anil K. Narendran and G. Girish, recently delivered a judgment on Mat.Appeal No.129 of 2016, dismissing a divorce petition filed by a husband against his wife. The husband sought dissolution of marriage on grounds of cruelty, desertion, and non-fulfillment of marital obligations. The court, however, found insufficient evidence to support his claims and upheld the Family Court’s decision.

Case Background

The marriage, which took place on April 17, 1994, resulted in a son born on November 3, 1997. The husband alleged that soon after the marriage, the wife began abusing him, refused to perform marital duties, and created disturbances, which led to police intervention. On October 4, 2002, the wife left the marital home, prompting the husband to file for divorce under Sections 10 and 18 of the Divorce Act, 1869, citing cruelty and desertion. He also mentioned a police case registered against him and his parents under Sections 498A and 323 of the IPC, based on the wife’s complaint.

Respondent’s Stand

The wife countered the husband’s allegations, stating that she endured severe physical and mental torture from him and his parents. She claimed that the husband demanded dowry and subjected her to cruelty, including forcing her to abort her second pregnancy. The wife also accused the husband of preventing her from meeting their child and causing scenes at various residences due to his quarrelsome nature.

Court’s Findings

The Family Court, after evaluating the evidence, found the husband’s claims unsubstantiated. The Kerala High Court concurred, noting that the husband’s allegations lacked specific instances of cruelty and were largely based on general claims. The court emphasized that cruelty, as a ground for divorce, must be grave and substantial, endangering life or health, which was not proven in this case. The court also considered the wife’s efforts to maintain the marriage despite enduring cruelty, and her lack of means to take custody of the child due to her financial dependency.


The High Court upheld the Family Court’s judgment, dismissing the appeal and denying the husband’s request for divorce. The court reaffirmed that mere incompatibility and general allegations without concrete evidence do not constitute grounds for cruelty under matrimonial laws.

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