Contracting a second marriage by a Muslim husband often causes enormous cruelty to the first wife which justifies her claim for divorce was observed by the Kalaburagi Bench of the Karnataka High Court. Cruelty is a very subjective concept and the conduct constituting is indefinitely variable was explained by Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice P. Krishna Bhat.
They further said that merely an act is lawful it does not become justifiable in married life, they gave examples which are subject to all exceptions that smoking, snoring, and drinking were also not unlawful but still in certain circumstances for a sensitive spouse may amount to cruelty. On the same basis, they said that second marriage by a Muslim may be lawful but it more often than not causes enormous cruelty to the first wife which justifies her claim for divorce.
Dissolution of his marriage with the first wife on the ground of cruelty this observation was made. The High Court which relied on a Privy Council verdict in Moonshee Bazloor Ruheem v. Shamsurnissa Begum, 11 MIA 551 where it was held that the husband should explain his action by proving that his taking a second wife involves no cruelty and if it is not explained by him, the Court will presume that this action involved cruelty to the first wife and it would be inequitable for the Court to compel her to live with such a husband against her wishes.
The husband, in this case, had submitted that he was compelled by his influential parents into contracting a second marriage. He has failed to establish his consent of the respondent-wife, for marriage with another. The reference was made to Itwari v. Asghari, AIR 1960 Allahabad 684 was also made.
Another reason for upholding the Family Court order was that his wife was tormented by her in-laws and there was no proof that the husband tried to prevent the same.