The Kerala High Court held that compelling a man to live separately from his old parents would amount to cruelty from the wife’s part and can be a ground for divorce. The bench ruled that it would be “torturous” and “unbearable” for a husband to choose between his parents and wife without justified reasons.

In the petition filed by a husband, he asked for the dissolution of his marriage following his wife’s hatred for his mother. The husband also states that his wife threatened him to commit suicide and name him and his mother responsible. The wife claimed that the husband had been ill-treating her. She also stated that the mother-in-law was cruel to her and was the reason for the problems in the family.

The High Court allowed the divorce and ruled that her statements were corroborated. It also held that there is no justifiable reason for the wife to get the mother-in-law excluded from the family and that it would amount to cruelty under the Hindu Marriage Act. The High Court then allowed decree of divorce, holding as: “Evidence as discussed above is satisfactory for us to take a view that the respondent has treated the petitioner with cruelty sufficient enough to grant a decree for dissolution of marriage in his favour.”

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