He Said, She Said: Analysing Cruelty as a Ground for Matrimonial Relief

  • Sarrah Nayar
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  • Sarrah Nayar

    Student at VES College of Law, India

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This paper examines the evolution of cruelty as grounds for divorce under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 in India. It traces how the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 initially only recognized cruelty for judicial separation, not divorce. The Act left defining cruelty to the judiciary, which expanded it through case law to include psychological harm. It elucidates the different aspects of cruelty- physical and mental harm through various judgements. This paper explicates the multifarious aspects of cruelty under Hindu law like physical and mental cruelty; and provides an analysis of the same under other laws like the Indian Penal Code of 1860 and Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. While this paper aims to provide a birds eye view of cruelty in matrimonial relations, it finally concludes that gender inequality persists with provisions like IPC 498A and it is occasionally misused against men. The analysis shows while the scope of cruelty has widened over time, the law retains patriarchal biases. As women gain rights, legal reform should protect husbands from misuse and wives from marital rape, to uphold gender equality.




International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 5, Page 2357 - 2367

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.116050

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