Cruelty is contextual- to the times, to the place, to the station in life of the spouses and attendant circumstances.

Gopal Krishan Dua vs Rajni Dua and Another

Delhi HC


MAT. APP. (FC) 150/2015

About/from the judgment:

Marriages- more than any other relationships- are founded and sustained on trust and mutual understanding. If suspicion enters this relationship, it is in the interests of both spouses to clear the air, or else doubts would simmer, take ominous shape in the form of phantasmagoria of enormous magnitude. In this case, the husband appears to have harboured such suspicions, and, all too willingly allowed them to fester and assume large proportions. Distressingly, this led him to level wild and unfounded allegations, which he persisted with, even in the present appeal. Such feelings are utterly unconducive of any meaningful conjugal relationships. Cruelty, otherwise, is a phrase of many hues. Courts are advisedly circumspect in stereotyping what is cruelty or what can be described as cruelty because acceptable behaviour in one mileu can be entirely anathema in another.


Cruelty therefore, is contextual- to the times, to the place, to the station in life of the spouses and attendant circumstances. In a bye-gone era, perhaps it might have been acceptable for a husband to level unfounded allegations of adulterous relationships of the wife; not any longer. It is at once traumatic and destructive of the very foundation of matrimony.

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