The Chhattisgarh High Court has taken a significant step in understanding the effects of a husband’s excessive drinking on his wife’s well-being. The court ruled that if a husband’s habit of drinking alcohol causes problems in the family, it can be considered as mental cruelty towards his wife and the whole family, including children.
The situation arose from a case where a woman appealed against a decision made by a family court in Raigarh in 2021. The family court had rejected her request for a divorce due to mental cruelty. The woman explained that her husband’s drinking and behaviour were making life difficult for the family. He was not supporting their children’s education and even threatened her when asked to contribute.
The couple got married on February 2, 2006. Over time, their relationship became strained due to the husband’s behaviour when he drank too much alcohol. He even put their belongings at risk to fund his drinking. On May 26, 2016, the wife left her husband’s home with their children after he physically abused her while being drunk.
The court’s decision granted the woman a divorce, recognizing that the husband’s drinking habits were causing harm. The court said, “It is very natural that the wife would depend upon the husband for her household needs and to upbringing (raise) her children to give a good education and life. If the husband instead of discharging his obligation indulges (himself) in excessive drinking habits, which deteriorates the family condition, it would naturally lead to (a) mental cruelty to the wife and the entire family including children.”
Although the husband did not appear before before either of the court, a written submission containing counter allegations of mental cruelty against the wife was presented.