Cruelty As A Ground For Divorce Trends Through Ages: A Study

Through ages, women in India have had to face atrocities at all stages of life in various forms. In a matrimonial relationship they have had to suffer mental and physical trauma and yet they were expected to stay loyal and obedient to their husbands. With the adoption of a rights-based Constitution, this lowly position of women has been sought to be changed. Many legislations have been enacted to protect the women and their rights from being infringed and thereby giving them freedom and power to oppose the atrocities being committed on them. Cruelty in a matrimonial relationship was recognized as a ground for divorce in as late as 1976 through an amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Cruelty against husbands by the wives surfaced up not very long ago and is an equally important issue of concern. This paper attempts to study cruelty as a ground of divorce in India in the present context especially pertaining to the Hindu personal laws.