Repeated attempts to commit suicide or threats to do so may amount to “cruelty” and can well be a ground for seeking divorce, Bombay High Court has held.
The high court’s observation came on an appeal filed by a woman who had challenged a family court’s decision to grant divorce to her husband.
Prakash (name changed) had sought divorce from Varsha (also name changed) on the ground that she was temperamental, frequently fought with him and threatened to commit suicide.
They have been living separately for the past 17 years.
In her statement before the family court, Varsha had admitted that she had attempted suicide twice, but she went to the high court challenging the order.
The high court, however, concurred with the family court’s ruling “because the behaviour of the appellant by persistently threatening and attempting suicide would constitute mental cruelty in law”.
The division bench said: “A husband cannot be expected to continue living with the wife in such circumstances.”
Varsha’s lawyer argued she was driven to suicide because of ill-treatment by her in-laws, but the court pointed out that “the attempts to commit suicide continued even after the couple moved to a new house and began to live separately from the family of the husband”.