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Calling husband impotent in the presence of relatives is cruelty

Sonal Bhargava | Prabhat Bandhulya

In awarding a divorce decision in favour of a man, the Karnataka High Court, in the case of Shashidhar Chachadi vs Vijayalaxmi Chachadi, recently decided that calling a husband impotent in front of the family without substantiating the claim amounted to mental cruelty.

Justices Sunil Dutt Yadav and KS Hemalekha remarked that no sensible wife would make such accusations against her husband in front of others.

"The allegation of impotency in the presence of others and her husband would necessarily affect the reputation of the husband. No prudent woman would think of making allegation of impotency in the presence of others, rather she would take necessary steps to see that the reputation of the husband is not affected and not thrown out in public. The complaining of incapacity of the husband to bear children, without any proof creates an intense mental agony and anguish of the husband," the Court said in its judgment.

The woman made public declarations of her husband's alleged impotence despite her inability to verify it, according to the Court.

The bench was hearing an appeal filed by a man who was contesting the dismissal of his divorce petition by a Dharwad Family Court.

According to the appellant, his wife acted normally for a month after they married in May 2015, but then her behaviour changed drastically.

He stated that she would label him incapable of fulfilling his marital responsibilities and impotent in front of their family.

On the other hand, the wife said that her husband would frequently avoid her, leading her to believe that he was impotent.

She said she wanted to live with her spouse but that he would find a way to avoid her for any reason.

The woman was unable to produce any evidence to substantiate her charges against the husband of impotency and inability to fulfil conjugal commitments, according to the Court.

According to the Court, the wife's acts would be considered cruelty under Section 13(1) (ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

In light of this, the Court concluded that the trial court erred in ruling that the husband's claim of cruelty was unproven.

As a result, it overturned the Family Court's judgement and decree and granted the husband's petition under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, which resulted in a divorce decision in his favour.

The Court ordered the husband to pay 8,000 per month in maintenance to the wife until she remarries, as he earns Rs 38,000 per month.

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