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Wife's refusal of physical intimacy ground for divorce: HC

October 14, 2013 18:32 IST

Physical intimacy is an essential aspect of marriage and a wife's continuous refusal to have such relationship with her husband can be a ground for divorce, the Delhi high court has held.

Dismissing a woman's plea challenging the family court's decree of divorce to her husband, a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and Najmi Waziri upheld the lower court's February findings in favour of the husband.

Taking note of the fact that though the couple had settled the issues in 2009 and started living together but the wife had refused to have physical relation with husband during resettlement, the bench said, "The family court had concluded that there was no conjugal relationship between the parties for almost 8 to 9 years as the appellant/wife was living away from the respondent/husband at her matrimonial home in Gujarat or otherwise shunned physical relationship with him.

"The promise of marital cohabitation was reneged by the wife as she continued to refrain from physical intimacy with the husband. Till the pronouncement of the impugned judgement in 2013, the physical distance between the parties had remained the same. Physical intimacy between a married couple is an essential aspect of marriage and consistent refusal of physical intimacy strikes at the very root of the marital relationship."

The bench also accepted the man's argument that his wife had also levelled allegations that he had illicit relationship with his sister-in-law which amounts to mental cruelty.

"... This court is of the opinion that the impugned judgement of the family court is based upon sound evidence and the conclusions arrived at are just. The decision to dissolve the marriage on the ground of cruelty calls for no interference."

Image: Delhi high court main building

Photograph Courtesy: Delhi HC website

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