Under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, cruelty is one of the grounds on which a Muslim woman can seek divorce. The act defines cruelty as any wilful conduct that is of such a nature as to cause danger to life, limb, or health (whether mental or physical) of the petitioner, or as to give rise to a reasonable apprehension of such danger.
Cruelty can be physical or mental. Physical cruelty includes acts of violence or abuse, while mental cruelty includes acts such as insults, ridicule, or harassment that cause mental pain and suffering to the wife.
It is important to note that the act does not provide a specific definition of cruelty, and the determination of whether or not cruelty has occurred is a matter of fact to be decided by the court on a case by case basis, taking into account all the circumstances of the case. The court will consider the evidence presented by both parties and make a decision based on the merits of the case.
It’s also worth noting that under the act, the petitioner (the wife in this case) has to prove that the cruelty is of such nature that it would be harmful or dangerous to her life, limb, or health (whether mental or physical) and that it has caused reasonable apprehension of such harm or danger.