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Kerala HC Division Bench’s observations on marital relationships courts controversy

- September 1, 2022

Thiruvananthapuram, September 1 (BPNS)

The Kerala High Court has courted controversy as one of its division benches came out with a slew of observations on the younger generation’s approach to marital relationships.

It’s while declining a decree of divorce that the Division Bench of Justices A Muhammad Mustaque and Sophy Thomas made the observations that the consumer culture of ‘use and throw’ seems to have influenced matrimonial relationships and the younger generation is considering marriage as an evil which has to be avoided to enjoy free life without any liabilities or obligations.

While some sections said that the court’s observations amount to moral policing, others point out that it violates the Supreme Court’s advice in February that high courts should not make general observations that are not warranted in the case.

The division bench in its order had observed that Kerala, known as God’s own Country, was once famous for its well-knit family bondage. But the present trend seems to break the nuptial ties for flimsy or selfish reasons, or extra-marital relationships, even unmindful of their children.

In another part, the court’s observation of the younger generation is this, “They would expand the word ‘WIFE’ as ‘Worry Invited for Ever’ substituting the old concept of ‘Wise Investment for Ever’. The consumer culture of ‘use and throw’ seems to have influenced our matrimonial relationships also. Live-in-relationships are on the rise, just to say goodbye when they fell apart.”

The case pertains to a husband’s petition for divorce as he alleged that his wife developed some behavioral issues and kept picking quarrels with him for no reason, alleging an illicit relationship with another woman. The husband also alleged that the wife failed to perform her marital duties and was physically and mentally abusive towards him.

However, the wife countered it by saying that her husband was concocting reasons so that he can leave her and their children and pursue the extra-marital affair.

The division bench after considering the testimonies of some witnesses found that the wife’s claim is true. It then stated that parties to a marriage cannot walk away from each other by seeking the assistance of a court of law to obtain a decree of divorce and then go on to legalize their extra-marital relationships.