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Is refusal to undergo medical treatment for mental illness a ground for divorce? Supreme Court to decide

The husband filed a petition praying for divorce on the grounds of unsound mind, desertion and cruelty before the family court.

The family court turned down the first two grounds but granted divorce on the ground of cruelty.

On appeal, the High Court upheld the family court verdict and held if a spouse refuses to undergo treatment for mental illness, it would amount to cruelty.

“Ailment of a spouse cannot be a reason to grant a decree of divorce even if it results in unusual behaviour which is not expected in normal marital life. The Apex Court in Kollam Chandra Sekhar v. Kollam Padma Latha [(2014) 1 SCC 225] opined that divorce cannot be granted merely for the reason of suffering of Schizophrenia. However, in the present case, this Court cannot ignore the fact that the appellant refused to acknowledge having illness…

…The consequence of refusal to undergo treatment would determine the fate of a normal relationship. If one spouse refuses to acknowledge illness and undergo treatment, and as a result of such refusal, the other spouse is deprived of normal conjugal relationship, that act would amount to cruelty,” the High Court said.

Source: Barandbench

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