Concept of mental cruelty under the Hindu law is not been defined under the act of the Hindu law, but yes cruelty complained of must satisfy the conscience of the court to believe that relations between the parties are not good and had been deteriorated to such an extent due to conduct of one of the spouses which has become extremely impossible to stay with each other without distress or the atmosphere. After the amendment of 1976, cruelty contemplated by section 13(1)(a) is a conduct of such type that the petitioner cannot live with the spouse any more now., because of the atmosphere which has now been created. This concept of cruelty has been different with every person out there. As it depends from person to person, individual to individual in the application according to the social status of the person. It totally depends on the court to observe whether when one of the parties has been faced up with the cruelty.

Cruelty as a ground of divorce:

Yes, there are many situations out there when the marriage is considered as a cruelty which will leads towards the divorce as follows:

When one of the spouses is has been committed with the adultery and is in the knowledge whit the other spouse.

There might be physical violence on the spouse.

Making and speaking abusive words to one of the spouses.

Not disclosing and releasing the fact that one of the spouses has been acquired with the sexually transmitted disease.

The conduct of one of the spouses should be of such nature that one of them as faced the cruelty so that court will get to know the exact reason that why they wanted to get separated from each other and if yes then how cruelty has been faced and is it actually present there or not.


There are two types of cruelty which are physical cruelty and mental cruelty which is discussed below:

PHYSICAL CRUELTY- Under the ambit of physical cruelty one of the spouses of the both had been gone by the physical cruelty such as one of the two have been beaten up by the other or might be after beating a lot of injuries and blood might have been came through the body of any of them. This can be illustrated by a case law as given under-


Under this case the wife was a government servant and she made a complaint to the Prime Minster regarding her husband asking for demanding dowry which was Rs. 5000 for her sister’s marriage and gave her threatens as if not paid she will be out of the house and her whole body will be disfigured itself and also threatened her that he will also kill her brother. Also, wife told that before marriage he had an illicit relationship with any other women out there. Then under this case it was held out that by investigation and after appropriate inquiry that the wife was caused by pains and misery than physical beating. The husband could not be reasonably expected to live with wife itself. Also, the marriage held to dissolved.

MENTAL CRUELTY-Mental cruelty comes under the ambit when the either of the spouses is subjected to be mentally harassed it might be the suffering upon the feelings or emotions in which one of the spouses is been mentally tortured or been harassed. Let’s check this which the help of a case law as referred below:


The Supreme Court has expressed the view about the cruelty. In the mental cruelty the problem presents the difficulties. Whether it caused reasonable apprehension that it would be harmful or injurious to live with each other. Further Supreme Court also observed the persistent effort of wife to be constrained husband to be separated from his family which constitutes an act of actually been cruelty.



The Supreme Court has expressed the view about cruelty, the term cruelty has not been defined the Hindu Marriage Act. It has been used in the context of human conduct and behaviour in relation to in respect of the matrimonial duties and obligations. In this case the court also have been observed that the men’s rea is not a necessary element in cruelty and that the relief to the party cannot be denied on the ground that there has not been no deliberate or wilful ill treatment and re marriage by the party is not to be done before the expiry of the time period of the filling of S.L.P against decree.


Under this case the Supreme Court observed that in sort of the case if the wife is allegedly making wrongful and false allegations against husband and any of the family members of the family members to lower the reputation of the husband’s family to the husband and his colleagues then yes, this is cruelty against the husband and it amounts to cruelty and such of it the husband is entitled to get the decree of divorce.


Under this case the allegation of the wife that she was drawling a full bottle of kerosene oil on her whole body itself and she was attempting to get herself toward suicide so when the matter went inside the court after proper investigation it came to be found out that she was going through the mental cruelty and she was granted the decree for divorce.



(2nd year)

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