New Delhi: Not allowing a spouse to have sexual intercourse for a long time by the partner amounts to mental cruelty and can be a ground for divorce, the Supreme Court has ruled.
“Undoubtedly, not allowing a spouse for a long time, to have sexual intercourse by his or her partner, without sufficient reason, itself amounts to mental cruelty to such spouse,” a bench headed by Justice S J Mukhopadhaya said.
It upheld Madras High Court verdict by which it had granted divorce to a man after he alleged that he was subjected to cruelty by his wife in various ways including refusal to consummate the marriage.
The apex court refused to give credence to the wife’s testimony that she refused to consummate marriage as she did not want a child. The court, however, directed the husband, who is based in London, to pay Rs 40 lakh as one-time alimony to the wife.
“We are of the view that in the facts and circumstances of the case keeping in mind the economic status of the parties, a direction to the respondent to pay Rs 40 lakhs as one time alimony to the appellant(wife), would meet the ends of justice,” it said.
The High Court had also refused to accept the explanation of the wife for not consummating marriage saying, “Admittedly, both of them (husband and wife) are well educated and there are so many contraceptives available and they could have used such contraceptives and avoided pregnancy if they had wanted”.