The Kerala High Court has slammed “consumer culture”, while rejecting a 51-year-old man’s petition for divorce, making some sweeping observations, one of which says a new generation sees marriage as “evil”. Cohabitation relationships are on the rise, it stressed, worrying about “the conscience of society”.
Judges A Muhammed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas handed down their judgment on August 24, while rejecting the man’s divorce appeal for alleged “marital abuse”.
The high court order said he had had an extramarital affair since 2017, but “there is no indication that the chance for a peaceful reunion has been forever taken away” because his 38-year-old wife was willing to accept his return, emphasizing the fact that: The couple has three daughters.
“Today, the younger generation sees marriage as an avoidable evil, to enjoy a free life without any responsibilities or obligations. They will expand the word ‘WIFE’ to ‘Worry Invited For Ever’ to replace the old The concept of ‘investing wisely. Forever’,” the order read.
The man appeared in the High Court after the Family Court rejected his petition as his wife, who lives with his daughter, disputed his claims she assaulted him. The court said that under the Divorce Act 1869, which applies to Christian marriages, a husband cannot prove any cruelty to his wife.
The couple, originally from Alappuzha but settled in Saudi Arabia for more than a decade, married in 2009. In 2018, the husband moved to family court for a divorce.
But the man’s mother stood by his wife and was cited as one of the witnesses who “still wanted to see them live with their children”.
“Kerala, known as the kingdom of God, was once known for its tight family bondage,” said the court order, written by Justice Sophie Thomas, “but current trends seem to break the fragile or selfish Marital reasons, or extramarital affairs, not even paying attention to their children.”
“The ‘use and throw’ consumer culture also seems to have affected our marital relationships. Cohabitation relationships are on the rise, just say goodbye when they fall apart,” it added.
Then go further, “Wails and screams from restless and broken families can easily shake the conscience of an entire society. When warring couples, abandoned children and desperate divorcees make up the majority of our population, there is no Doubt will adversely affect the tranquility of our social life and our society will be stunted.”
In this case, “the normal human reaction or reaction of a wife upon learning that her husband was in an inappropriate relationship with another woman cannot be called the wife’s unusual or cruel behavior to dissolve their marriage,” Bench said.
It rejects “mere quarrels, ordinary wear and tear of a marital relationship, or random outbursts of certain emotions” as cruelty.