The High Court concurred with this assessment, noting that while the appellant made general allegations of mistreatment, he failed to provide specific instances of cruelty.
On the other hand, evidence presented by the respondent wife painted a picture of her enduring severe mistreatment, making it untenable for her to continue the marriage, added the High Court.
It clarified that while cruelty in matrimonial cases includes behaviour endangering life, limb, or health, the allegations in this case mainly revolved around the respondent wife’s alleged inability to maintain a harmonious family life.
The Court stressed on the need to differentiate between ordinary marital issues and cruelty, after considering factors like tolerance levels and the parties’ backgrounds.
“Cruelty consists of acts which are dangerous to life, limb or health. Cruelty may be physical or mental. Mental cruelty is the conduct of the spouse which causes mental suffering or fear in continuing the marital life with one’s partner. Cruelty, however, has to be distinguished from ordinary wear and tear of family life. As far as the present case is concerned, the allegations levelled by the appellant, to a great extent, is about the incompatibility of the respondent to lead a cordial family life by taking care of the interests of the appellant and his parents. The above incompatibility attributed to a life partner cannot be classified as cruelty of such a grade which would warrant the dissolution of marital tie.”