India Intelligence Report

SC Norms for Divorce


Overturning a Delhi Court verdict, the Supreme Court (SC) concluded that under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, non-consummation of marriage and mental cruelty are grounds for divorce. They ruled, "Indifference and frigidity towards wife, denial of company and abhorrence, or physical, like acts of violence and abstinence from sexual intercourse without reasonable cause." They added that even "non violent acts but of injurious reproaches, complaints, accusations, or taunts" can be treated as abuse because mental cruelty could cause even more serious injury than physical harm to the married woman. However, it ruled, "Mental disorder as a grounds for divorce is only where it is of such a kind and degree that the appellant cannot be reasonably expected to live with the respondent."

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