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Wife quarrels with my mother: Can I get divorce on cruelty?

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Question: We married 12 years ago and we have a 10 years old son. Our marital relationship is not good and my wife quarrels with my mother. She wants my mother don’t stay with us. During the quarrel she spoke awkward words, abused, and raised hand on me.  One day she called the police and I spent 4 hours at Mahila Thana. We can not stay together.

Question from: New Delhi

Such an act of your wife constitutes cruelty. A husband can seek divorce on the grounds of cruelty of his wife. Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act recognises cruelty as a ground for divorce. Simple trivialities between spouses do not amount to cruelty. 

In Dr N.G Dastane v. Mrs S. Dastane. 1975 2 SCC 326 the Supreme Court In many marriages each party can, if it so wishes, discover many causes for complaint but such grievances arise mostly from temperamental disharmony. Such disharmony or incompatibility is not cruelty and will not furnish a cause for the dissolution of marriage. We will therefore have regard only to grave and weighty incidents and consider these to find what place they occupy on the marriage canvas. 

For seeking divorce on the ground of cruelty, the nature of cruelty should be dangerous. The nature of the cruelty should be such as to cause reasonable apprehension in your mind that it would be harmful for you to live with your wife. 

Your wife has called the police on a quarrel. You spent four hours in Mahila Thana. This incident proves that she can create a big incident which may have a drastic effect on your life. 

File a divorce petition

You can file a divorce petition on cruelty. Court can assess the amount of cruelty in regard to the social status of a spouse. A person of good repute feels immense humiliation during the captivity of a police station. 

In V. Bhagat v. D. Bhagat 1994 1 SCC 337 the Supreme Court has held that mental cruelty in section 13(1)(i-a) of the Hindu Marriage Act can broadly be defined as that conduct which inflicts upon the other party such mental pain and suffering as would make it not possible for that party to live with the other.

The circumstances of your case suggest that your wife may rope you in a false criminal case. Therefore, you can easily prove that due to the cruelty of your wife you cannot live together. The court will grant divorce decree upon the proof of cruelty. 

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