The Bombay High Court has observed that “sex plays an important role in marital life and (it) cannot be separated from other factors which lend to matrimony a sense of fruition and fulfillment.” The court stated this while upholding an order of the family court in Bandra which granted divorce to a couple after the husband alleged that he had been subjected to mental cruelty by the wife who refused to have a physical relationship with him.
A division bench of Justice VK Tahilramani and Justice VL Achilya on Wednesday dismissed an appeal filed by the woman who challenged the divorce decree granted by the family court.
The couple had married in 2005 in Mumbai as per Hindu Vedic rights. The man had alleged that during the honeymoon, his wife “quarrelled with him on small matters and harassed him and did not cooperate during physical relations and avoided it on some or the other pretext”. He said that his wife avoided sexual relations with him even after that. The woman accused her husband of having an extra-marital affair, but the court noted that she had not produced any evidence to substantiate her charge.
He further alleged that his ``wife did not speak to anybody and remained aloof during a dinner programme arranged at his place for relatives. During the programme her mobile phone was misplaced and she raised a hue and cry as she did not find the phone and later alleged that some of his relatives had stolen her phone”.
As the woman did not challenge the allegations made by her husband, the court held them to be true. Upholding the order of the family court, the high court observed: “The evidence of the husband that she avoided physical relations with him, quarrelled with him and harassed him and threatened him to commit suicide, is sufficient to hold that the husband was subjected to cruelty by the wife during the course of her stay with him.” The husband also alleged that she had threatened to end her life and blame him for it.
The wife stated that she was not allowed to cross-examine her husband and prayed that the the high court refer the matter back to the family court with a direction that she be permitted to cross-examine him. This prayer was rejected by the court.