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Not unusual to make daughter-in-law do house work, says Kerala HC in a divorce case

In an order accepting a man’s divorce plea, the Kerala HC said no family is devoid of clashes and it is common for elders to scold or abuse youngsters.

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New Delhi: “No family is totally devoid of clashes among members constituting it. It is common for elders to scold and sometimes abuse youngsters. Making a daughter in law to do the house-hold/domestic work is also not something unusual.”

The Kerala High Court made these observations last week while accepting a man’s plea to dissolve his marriage on the ground that his wife forced him to stay away from his mother, causing him mental agony and subjecting him to mental cruelty.

A two-judge bench led by Justice A.M. Shaffique also blamed the wife’s persistence to stay separately for the man turning into a drunkard.

“Evidence indicates that the respondent and the petitioner’s mother were not cordial and clashes were frequent. Therefore, it is natural for the petitioner to be a scapegoat of the in-differences. It is also natural for a wife in that scenario to make persistent effort to constrain her husband to be separated from the family life and that would undoubtedly be torturous for him,” the court said.

“In the case on hand the petitioner’s turning to be a drunkard can only be taken as the natural outcome of the pressure exerted on him by the respondent to have a separate residence to the exclusion of the petitioner’s mother,” the court added.

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Daughter-in-law was made to do household work

The Kerala High Court order came on an appeal filed by the husband against a family court’s decision rejecting his plea for divorce.

His petition gave out details of how his wife allegedly insulted him in public and undermined him, stating he is not a fit person to be her husband.

The wife refuted the allegation of cruelty. She accused her mother-in-law of ill-treating her and claimed the latter encouraged the husband to return home late in “intoxicated state”. The wife said she was constrained to leave the matrimonial home, but was willing to join her husband, provided he stopped being an alcoholic.

On going through the submissions filed by both sides and also the statements recorded before the lower court, the high court held a view that the wife had, in particular, disclosed her dislike for the mother-in-law because she was made to do household work by her.

“Making a daughter-in-law to do the house-hold/domestic work is also not something unusual. From the evidence tendered by the respondent (wife), it is all the more clear that the aforestated factors formed the basis for her ill-will to the petitioner’s (husband) mother,” the bench observed.

Irretrievable breakdown of marriage

According to the husband, the wife left the matrimonial home on 20 February 2011 for her parental home, and has not returned. Even he did not make an effort to get her back.

“From the above conduct of the petitioner (husband) admitted by the respondent (wife), it is evidenced that the torture suffered by him amidst the respondent and his mother was of much gravity and something unbearable for him,” said the court.

After noticing the conduct of both parties the court concluded it was difficult for the two to resume the matrimonial relationship.

“Not even a single attempt was made from the side of the respondent to join the petitioner to continue the marital life. Therefore, the case on hand is also one, wherein the marital relationship among the parties have become irretrievably broken,” held the bench.

Also read: Spike in Covid deaths, families’ refusal to claim bodies led to LNJP pile-up: Delhi govt to HC


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  1. Sorry, this is not my comment . But this my question searching for answer . If the husband came to the house in the midnnight then,he had called her wife . she was in the sleep, 30 minutes later she had opened the gate . the husband bit her with his footwear. the wife gave him in the harsh words, the husband didn’t controlled his anger ,he had been harassing her, what she can do then

  2. It is very necessary to understand that the stereotype for men as drunken and violent is not always true.
    In such a situation a quick prejudice is formed by society that man is guilty. Every right is followed by some moral or fundamental duties, a daughter in law has the right to the property of her husband in the equal amount, then she should never forget that there are some duties also to be taken care of.

    No one has a right to torture a daughter-in-law, but she also should not torture the parents of her husband by separating them from him.

    Many cases are seen where a wife use section-498a as a weapon to kneel her husband and his family so that she can manage to have divorce in addition with alimony from her husband.
    Such abuse of laws is the main reason of delay in justice to the real victims of domestic violence.

  3. Dear ladies when you have a problem of domestic violence from your inlaws kindly appoint a lady lawyer.Only a lady can understand your emotions and feelings.

    A newly married girl enters into a family life with her husband expecting many happy moments.Love life physical intimacy all are important in a married life.

    Many women cannot enjoy these because of the inlaws.I personally know girls who complained about their inlaws who used to stand in front of their door .Many inlaws tey to take the gold and mo ey of the girls and make them slaves.This is happening among educated families.Many parents even teach their sons that taking care of parents is his duty and ask them to leave the wife.

    Many mother in laws wont allow the daughterinlaws to sleep with their son .
    Many denied food for the daughter inlaw.
    Do you know the fact that many inlaws develop some sort of diseases when the son and daughterinlaw step out for a trip.The couple just need some privacy for their personal affairs and thats why they are palnning trips.Every day this inlaws will have many things to complain about the daughter in law to their son.They try to seperate them while seeing the lovelife of the couple.

    Is there any privacy for a husband and wife in such families?No.And when the old aged people see the newly married couple enjoying sucha a sweet love life feel jealous .They start making unnecessary issues in the family to ruin the happiness of the couple.

    It is easy to tell ” hapiness is in mind” and “be happy in every situation”.But finding happiness and love life while living with inlaws is such a horrible thing.

    Its normal for a wife to ask the husband “can we change the residence “to save her marriage.Because she loves her husband a lot.Is there any shortage for men in a country like India? No.She want to live with the same man.And thats why she ask her husband can wè change the house .And many husbands understanding the sìtuation do the same.

    But majority of the husbands fail to shift because of their low income job.They cant purchase a land and construct a house with thier money. Many cant take even a rented house.So they need their parents property and wealth.Such men will be forced to live with the parents even if his wife is an angel.And men will be scared of the society which tell this man left parents for wife.Many even forget the kids they brought to this world because of such inlaws.They wont even pay for the kids. Lakhs of women are still living with horrible inlaws and men who cant understand them for the sake of the kids .

    It is a fact that when a man and women become adults they have to fullfill certain needs.They have to start a family.

    We can take care of our parents even without staying together.Not all parents are laid up.When there is an emergency we have to help them.And pare ts should also understand that ruining your sons family life is not going to bring any prosperity to your house.

    Dear men kindly dont spoil the precious life of a girl who trusted you and entered into a married life.

    Try to attend premarital counselling before getting married.Take your parents too to the counseller and prepare them to accept your wife.Do not marry a girl if your parents are not at all interested in that.

  4. Everything seems to be normal now a days.. A slap is Normal because men have high testosterone levels so aggression is their basic nature.. Make her do household work even if she doesn’t want to.. What’s normal for men? Drinking and cribbing??

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