The Kerala High Court recently in a judgement said that the false accusation and character assassination regarding the sexual capacity of an individual in a written statement would amount to mental cruelty. The High Court while hearing a plea filed by the husband granted a decree of dissolution of marriage to the couple, It was said that mentioning impotency or erectile dysfunction amid matrimonial proceedings as a counter-statement would ultimately consider as cruelty. The Husband appealed before the High Court after the dismissal of his petition seeking dissolution by the Trial Court, however, the Trial Court granted his wife's petition seeking restitution of conjugal rights. The appellant challenged the Trial Court's orders and claimed that his consent for marriage was a result of fraud committed by his wife. The counsel representing the husband, Adv. NK Subramanian submitted that the wife concealed the relevant information concerning her mental illness and prayed that this marriage should be nullified. He clearly stated that the husband sought dissolution of marriage on the grounds of incurable unsoundness of mind and cruelty by the wife. However, the respondent accepted that she was being treated by two psychiatrists for her delusion disorder. The court on this pointed noted that the appellant failed to produce enough material to support his claim and the court found no convincing evidence indicating that his wife's illness was actually incurable, also no expert opinion or report was supporting his claim. The High Court also stated that the concealment of the fact by the wife before marriage regarding her delusion disorder could not be said as suppression of material fact. Hence, on this ground husband could not seek nullification of his marriage.
The High Court examined the ground of cruelty based on the allegations made by the wife concerning the sexual capacity of the husband and especially mentioning that he was suffering from erectile dysfunction and opined that there was no solid evidence to prove that he was impotent. The court also observed that the wife contradicted herself.
"The respondent imputed that the appellant was suffering from erectile dysfunction, and thus, he was incapable of performing sexual activities, but at the same breath, she admitted that the appellant could get erections early in the morning and they used to have sexual intercourse in the early morning. She further admitted that she had a satisfactory sexual relationship with the appellant. But, to a specific question during evidence, she answered that she was still maintaining the stand that the appellant was suffering from erectile dysfunction"
The court also acknowledged that the appellant was willing to undergo a medical examination to invalidate the claim made by his wife. The High Court concluded that the wife failed to substantiate the allegations made by her regarding the husband's impotency. Citing the Supreme Court judgement in Vijaykumar Ramchandra Bhate v. Neela Vijay Kumar Bhate that unsubstantiated allegations made by one spouse in written form amount to mental cruelty and the other one in K. Srinivas Rao v. D.A. Deepa that defamatory allegations in matrimonial proceedings constitute mental cruelty.