In modern society, the burden of household responsibilities should be borne equally by husband and wife, the Bombay High Court has said.
A division bench of Justices Nitin Sambre and Sharmila Deshmukh made the observation on September 6 while dismissing an appeal filed by a 35-year-old man seeking the dissolution of his 13-year-old marriage.
He could not establish his claim of ‘cruelty’ against his estranged wife, the judges held.
The man had challenged a March 2018 order of a family court dismissing his plea seeking divorce.
The couple had got married in 2010. The man contended in the plea that his wife was always on the phone with her mother and did not do household work.
The woman claimed that she was forced to do all the household work after returning from office, and faced abuse when she contacted her family.
She also claimed that her estranged husband had physically abused her on several occasions.
The bench, in its order, noted that both the man and woman were employed, and expecting the wife to do all the household work reflects a regressive mindset.
“In modern society the burden of household responsibilities have to be borne by both husband and wife equally. The primitive mindset expecting the woman of the house to solely shoulder the household responsibilities needs to undergo a positive change,” the HC said.
The marital relationship must not lead to the wife in this case getting isolated from her parents and she cannot be expected to sever the ties with her parents, the court noted.
“Being in contact with one’s parents cannot by any stretch of imagination be construed as inflicting mental agony on the other party. In our view, putting restrictions on the respondent to curtail her contact with her parents, has in fact, subjected the wife to mental cruelty apart from physical cruelty,” the bench said.