Repeated attempts to commit suicide as well the threats to commit suicide could amount to “cruelty”, and it can very well be a ground for seeking divorce, the Bombay High Court has held.

The family court in Pune granted divorce to Varsha and Prakash (both names changed) on the application made by Prakash in 2002, against which Varsha had filed appeal.

Both had been living separately for the last seventeen years.

Prakash’s application for divorce was on the ground that his wife was temperamental, she frequently fought with him, and threatened to commit suicide.

In her statement before the family court, Varsha admitted that she had, in fact, attempted suicide twice. Once she tried to jump from a bridge, on another occasion she tried to drink an insecticide, but was saved both the times.

The Court held that the family court was right in granting divorce to Prakash, “because the behaviour of the appellant in persistently threatening and attempting suicide would constitute mental cruelty in law”.

A husband cannot be expected to continue living with the wife in such circumstances, said the division bench of Justices S A Bobde and S J Kathawala.

Varsha’s lawyer argued that she was driven to suicide because of her in-laws ill-treated her, but High Court refuted this line of argument, pointing out that “the attempts to commit suicide continued even after the couple moved to a new place and began to live separately from the family of the husband.”