'Denying sex to spouse cruelty, ground for marriage annulment'

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 24, 2012 15:11 hrs

Wilful denial of sex, including that on the first night after wedding, by either of the spouse amounts to cruelty and can be a ground for dissolution of the marriage, the Delhi High Court has ruled.

Justice Kailash Gambhir gave the verdict, upholding the lower court's decree of divorce to a man having a "sex-starved marriage" as his wife refused to have sexual intercourse with him on the wedding night and making him long for it for the subsequent five months, left her matrimonial home.

"In the present case, the testimony of the husband that the wife was never responsive and was like a dead wood when he had sexual intercourse with her remained unrebutted.

"It is not that the husband had sex with his wife only about 10-15 times from the date of his marriage within a period of five months, but the wife's cruel act of denying sex to the husband especially on the very first night and then not to actively participate in it even for the said limited period for which no contrary suggestion was given by the wife," the court said.

It cited various Supreme Court judgements on the issue and said "it is evident that wilful denial of sexual intercourse without reasonable cause would amount to cruelty."

Referring to the apex court's observation that "sex is the foundation of marriage and marriage without sex is an anathema," Justice Gambhir said, "Marriage without sex will be an insipid relation."

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