Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court
Litigation News

Making daughter-in-law do housework not unusual: Kerala HC declines to accept narrative that mother-in-law was villain in matrimonial life

Shruti Mahajan

The Kerala High Court recently observed that no families are devoid of clashes and that it is not unusual for a mother in law to make her daughter in law do household and domestic work, while dealing with a matrimonial dispute. (Ranjith PC vs Asha Nair)

This observation of the Bench of Justices AM Shaffique and Mary Joseph came in a divorce case where a man sought divorce from his wife alleging cruelty.

The man and woman had married in 2003 and had a daughter from the marriage. However, the wife was said to have a quarrelsome nature owing to which an amicable marriage did not last for long.

The husband alleged that his wife had threatened to commit suicide on multiple occasions, apart from indulging in name-calling against her husband and mother-in-law. She eventually left the matrimonial home in 2011 following which a decree for dissolution of marriage was sought by the husband.

The husband claimed cruelty on the part of the wife, whereas the wife opposed this allegation stating that it was she who was ill-treated by her mother-in-law and her husband.

The woman claimed that she was forced to leave the matrimonial home due to the threat of her mother-in-law. She also alleged that her husband was a drunkard. All the same, she expressed willingness to live with him in the absence of the mother-in-law.

The Original Petition for dissolution of marriage was dismissed and subsequently, the family court also ruled in favour of the woman and refused to grant the divorce sought by the husband.

However, the High Court, ruled in favour of the Petitioner-husband and granted divorce to the couple, while rejecting the claim made by the woman that she was subjected to ill-treatment.

"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. From the evidence tendered by the respondent, it is all the more clear that the aforestated factors formed the basis for her ill-will to petitioner's mother."
Kerala High Court said

The Court also held that it does not find any justifiable reason for the woman to get her mother-in-law excluded from the family or to have a separate household without her presence in it.

The Court added the conduct of the parties after they started living separately indicates that they are unfit to stay in a matrimonial alliance.

Read the Judgment:

Ranjith PC vs Asha Nair.pdf
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