In Bengaluru, a woman’s allegations of dowry harassment and cruelty backfired on her. Instead, Bengaluru High Court said her actions towards her husband and his family amounted to “mental cruelty.”

Reason? The 35-year-old woman had received all of her jewels except a gold chain from her in-laws. The court noted that she wouldn’t have received her jewellery if her in-laws had really harassed her for dowry. It also said that the woman had forced her husband to stay separately from his family and this was grounds for cruelty.

This recent observation came to light when the High Court heard a 35-year-old woman’s criminal case against her husband. The woman had filed a case of dowry harassment and cruelty in a family court. Following this, her husband filed for divorce stating that a false charge was filed against him and cited that this amounted to cruelty, Bangalore Mirror reported.

The family court granted him divorce and dismissed her case. Later, the High Court upheld the lower court’s judgement and cited a Supreme Court judgement which stated that forcing a man to stay separately from his family amounts to cruelty.

Recently, a 26-year-old Gujarati man in Rajkot said he initiated divorce after his wife asked him to move out of his family home. He was granted divorce after a two year legal battle.

Married women in India have the right to live in the house their husband resides in. The law dictates that this could be his ancestral house, a joint family house or even a rented apartment. However, Indian men find it difficult to break rigid cultural norms that expect them to stay with their parents.

In addition to this, Indian men choose to live in their family home as they are expected to take care of their parents.