The Kerala High Court has held that a wife not preparing food for her husband due to a lack of cooking skills cannot be termed cruelty for the purpose of dissolving a marriage.
The ruling by a division bench of Justices Anil K. Narendran and Sophy Thomas came as it took up a man’s petition seeking divorce on the ground of cruelty.
“Another ground of cruelty urged by the appellant is that the respondent did not know cooking and so she did not prepare food for him. That also cannot be termed cruelty sufficient enough to dissolve a legal marriage,” it said.
The couple were married on May 7, 2012, and were living in Abu Dhabi. In his petition seeking divorce, apart from leveling a few allegations of her ill-treatment, the man said that she was not ready to cook food for him and even quarreled with his mother for silly reasons.
But she dismissed the allegations and contended that her husband had sexual perversions and even body-shamed her; besides, he was mentally unstable and had discontinued the medicines prescribed to him.
The High Court noted that the wife expressed her anxiety about the behavioral changes seen in her husband and was seeking the assistance of his employer to find out what was wrong with him in order to bring him back to a normal life.
And on the ground that the marriage was “dead practically and emotionally”, and that the parties had been living separately for ten years, it said: “So legally, one party cannot unilaterally decide to walk out of a marriage, when sufficient grounds are not there justifying a divorce…saying that due to non-co-habitation for a considerable long period, their marriage is dead practically and emotionally.
No one can be permitted to take an incentive out of his own faulty actions or inactions.” It dismissed the husband’s petition to dissolve the marriage.