?No Condom No Sex? Can?t Be A Ground For Divorce: Indian Court

  on May 04 2012 10:23 AM

An Indian High Court Thursday dismissed the notion that refusal to have sex without a condom will be considered as a basis for filing divorce, the Times of India reported.

In a particularly riveting case of family court affairs, Pradeep Bapat filed a petition in the Bombay High Court, seeking a legal separation from his wife Prerna who refrained from having unprotected sex with him on the ground that the couple was financially unstable and could not afford to have more children.  

She must not have shown willingness to become a mother unless there was financial stability, Justice PB Majmudar was quoted as saying.She wanted to give the child a better life. It is a mutual decision and a husband cannot insist.

Besides the reluctance to have sex on his wife's part, Bapat, 30, is said to have stated several other reasons to have filed his appeal, alleging that his wife was ignorant on several domestic duties including religious habits, and that she refused to part with salary, the publication said.

A bench of the court headed by judges P B Majmudar and Anoop Mohta have not approved of Bapat's grounds for a separation, stating that his reasons did not spell out as domestic cruelty.

A woman is not a slave. You have put (common marital troubles) in the plea. If we construe these as cruelty, then no marriage will be safe, the court remarked.

Prerna, 26, was said to have left her husband within months of the couple's marriage in 2007 after it was alleged that Bapat ill treated her. According to the report, she had shown willingness to return to her marital home, however, her husband wished otherwise.

Court judges also observed that their marriage was an arranged union, and opined that prospective partners must ensure if they can get along well, the report said.

Despite the country embracing modern standards, women, especially from lower sections of society, continue to be brutalized by male members of their communities. Some of the divorce laws in the country are believed to be impartial towards wives and children, in terms of granting maintenance, Indian based newspaper The Hindu said.

As of now, the All India Democratic Women's Association, an organization that empowers women's rights in society, is seeking to overturn a marriage law that supports divorce grounds on irretrievable breakdown of marriage. Although the new law grants women the right to marital property and other assets, there is no provision for strengthening maintenance laws, the publication said.  

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