In India one only hears of intolerable mental and physical cruelty inflicted upon women, either by their husbands or their in-laws or both.
But the High Court in the southern state of Tamil Nadu granted divorce to a doctor couple, holding that it was the wife who had inflicted cruelty on her husband.
Justice G. Rajasuria narrated the encounters between the couple and said: "As such, no more dilation on the issues is required that the wife has expressed her antipathy, abomination, abhorrence, dislike, odium and detest against her husband and in-laws."
The husband had claimed that his wife was bent upon separating him from his parents immediately after marriage. He was compelled to live in his in-laws' house and pestered to claim his share of property from his father. He also alleged that that his wife voluntarily aborted her female foetus for want of a male child.
However, the wife said that she delivered a dead foetus owing to the torture meted out to her by in-laws. Denying all allegations levelled by her husband, she contended that her husband and in-laws had demanded dowry.
Rejecting her contention, the Judge said that the dowry theory appeared to be an afterthought. "The husband would not have stayed with his in-laws and also declined a job offer from Kerala during his wife's pregnancy if he were really interested in dowry. It is common sense proposition that a husband will insist on the payment as sine quo non (a condition precedent) for living with his wife."
On the wife's contention that her husband had not given specific details about the alleged cruelty meted out to him, Justice Rajasuria said: "No doubt if there are one or two specific incidents that could be detailed and delineated with dates. But, if the conduct of the wife is so incompatible and it was persisting every now and then, the court cannot expect the husband to detail and delineate the dates and events in seriatim."
Further pointing out that the wife had filed three police complaints against the husband, his parents, sisters, brother-in-law, uncle, aunt and cousins to intimidate them to withdraw the divorce petition filed before the trial court in 2001, the Judge said lodging false complaints to harass the husband and his relatives would also amount to cruelty.