Even a single act of violence which is of grievous and inexcusable nature satisfies the test of cruelty

Gurbux Singh vs Harminder Kaur

Supreme Court


CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5010 OF 2007, AIR2011 SC 114 : 2010 (83) ALR 466 : 2011 1 AWC(Supp) 735 SC : 2011(1)BomCR235 : (SCSuppl)2011(4)CHN22 : II(2010)DMC706SC : JT2010(11)SC58 : 2011(2)KLJ1 : 2011-1-LW115 : 2011(1)PLJR75 : (2011)161PLR130 : RLW2011(1)SC829 : 2010(10)SCALE659 : (2010)14SCC301

About/from the judgment:

When marriage should not be dissolved on ground of mental cruelty?


The married life should be assessed as a whole and a few isolated instances over certain period will not amount to cruelty. The ill-conduct must be precedent for a fairly lengthy period where the relationship has deteriorated to an extent that because of the acts and behaviour of a spouse, one party finds it extremely difficult to live with the other party no longer may amount to mental cruelty. Making certain statements on the spur of the moment and expressing certain displeasure about the behaviour of elders may not be characterized as cruelty.Mere trivial irritations, quarrels, normal wear and tear of married life which happens in day to day life in all families would not be adequate for grant of divorce on the ground of cruelty. Sustained unjustifiable and reprehensible conduct affecting physical and mental health of the other spouse may lead to mental cruelty. Both the appellant and respondent being highly qualified persons, the appellant being Principal in ITI College, the respondent working as a Librarian in a Government Institute, an isolated friction on some occasion like festival of Lohri even in the presence of others cannot be a valid ground for dissolving the marriage.

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