Delhi High Court: Man expecting wife to do household chores is not cruelty

The Delhi High Court recently addressed a case in which a husband sought a divorce, alleging cruelty by his wife. The court held that a husband expecting his wife to perform household chores cannot be considered cruelty. Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal Krishna, overseeing the appeal, emphasized that when a couple enters marriage, they intend to share responsibilities for their future life. The judges highlighted that asking a married woman to handle household work should not be equated to employing a maid; rather, it should be viewed as an expression of love and care for the family.

In this specific case, the husband argued that the marriage had been tumultuous due to his wife’s quarrelsome and uncompromising behavior. He claimed she was reluctant to perform household chores and shoulder responsibilities. The wife countered these allegations, asserting that she had fulfilled her household duties, but her efforts went unappreciated by her husband and his family.

The court granted the husband a divorce on grounds of cruelty under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, overturning the previous order. The judges noted that the husband had arranged separate accommodation to please his wife, but she predominantly stayed with her parents. The court emphasized that this temporary separation caused insecurity for the spouse and criticized the wife for not fulfilling her matrimonial obligations, thereby keeping the husband away from their son by choosing to live with her parents.

In conclusion, the Delhi High Court’s decision suggests that expecting a wife to handle household chores is not inherently cruel. However, the judgment also considered the overall conduct and actions of the parties involved in this specific case.