Landmark Judgment on Cruelty: Long Separation Period and False Allegations

In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court delivered a landmark judgment on cruelty, granting a decree of divorce in the case of Vandana Singh vs. Satish Kumar. The judgment, passed on January 3, 2022, underlines the importance of examining the impact of prolonged separation and the conduct of the parties in determining the existence of cruelty in a marriage.


The appellant, Vandana Singh, filed a petition under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, seeking divorce from her husband, Satish Kumar, on grounds of cruelty. The Family Court, Dwarka, had earlier dismissed the petition. The Delhi High Court heard the appeal filed by Vandana Singh challenging the dismissal.

Facts of the Case

The parties got married in 2010 and had never lived together for an extended period. The appellant alleged that the respondent had been physically, mentally, and sexually abusive towards her during their brief encounters. The respondent denied the allegations and claimed that their marriage was a happy one.

The High Court's Analysis

The High Court analyzed two crucial aspects. Firstly, it considered the long periods of continuous separation between the parties, examining whether the matrimonial bond had been breached beyond repair, amounting to cruelty. Secondly, it evaluated the conduct of the respondent, both before and after the filing of the divorce petition, to determine if it caused mental cruelty to the appellant.

Delhi High Court Judgment on Cruelty - Vandana Singh vs. Satish Kumar

Precedents and Legal Interpretation

The High Court referred to the Supreme Court’s judgments in Samar Ghosh vs. Jaya Ghosh and Naveen Kohli vs. Neelu Kohli, which establish that a long period of continuous separation can lead to a conclusion that the matrimonial bond is beyond repair, resulting in mental cruelty. The court highlighted that when a marriage becomes a fiction, holding onto it does not serve the sanctity of marriage but instead disregards the emotions and well-being of the parties involved.

Findings of the High Court

Based on the facts presented and the interactions with the parties, the High Court concluded that the parties had lived together for only a few days during their 11-year marriage. The Court observed that there was neither a matrimonial home nor the possibility of ever having one, indicating a broken bond. It emphasized that the continuance of the marriage would cause immense mental cruelty to the appellant, and the ground of cruelty was clearly established.

Additional Considerations

The High Court also noted the respondent’s lack of financial support and indifference towards the appellant. The respondent’s failure to make efforts to persuade the appellant to join him in Canada or address her concerns further demonstrated his disinterest in saving the marriage. The court considered the serious allegations made by the respondent against the appellant’s father and highlighted the impact on the appellant’s emotional well-being.


In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court granted a decree of divorce to Vandana Singh based on the ground of cruelty under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act. The judgment emphasizes the importance of considering the impact of prolonged separation and the conduct of the parties while evaluating allegations of cruelty in a marriage. This landmark judgment reinforces the principle that a marriage that is broken beyond repair should not be artificially sustained, as it would cause continued mental trauma to the parties involved.

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