The Bombay High Court has ruled that a wife’s refusal to have sex with her husband without a condom does not constitute grounds for divorce.
Pradeep Bapat told the court his wife Prerna refused to have children because they were not financially stable.
The judges said Mr Bapat’s other grounds for divorce, a lack of cooking and cleaning skills on his wife’s part, were also not grounds for divorce.
They said arranged couples should get to know each other before marrying.
The couple (whose real names were not released to protect their privacy) married in February 2007 and by June Prerna had left their home.
“She wanted to give the child a better life. It is a mutual decision and a husband can not insist,” said Justice PB Majmudar in remarks quoted by the Times of India.
Mr Bapat’s lawyer told the court that his client wanted an educated, working woman as his wife, who would also do the housework.
“A woman is not a slave,” Justice Majmudar said.
“You have put [common marital troubles] in the plea. If we construe these as cruelty, then no marriage will be safe.”
In the ruling, made with fellow Justice Anoop Mohta, the judges said couples should get to know each other before marrying, especially in the case of arranged marriages.
“It is the duty of parents to consider various aspects before the actual marriage takes place,” the judges said.