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Marriage can’t be ended over sari: High Court

Mumbai: Sari may be a bothersome garment, especially compared to `Punjabi dress’, but a marriage cannot be ended over it, Bombay High Court has held.

Dismissing a petition filed by a homeopathic practitioner, a division bench of Justices A P Deshpande and Rekha Sondurbaldota held that in-laws’ insistence on Sari cannot amount to “cruelty” under the Hindu Marriage Act.

Alka, the petitioner, and Anand (both names changed) got married in June 2003. Alka soon fell out with her husband and in-laws, and returned to her parents’ house.

Besides filing a criminal complaint against the husband, his mother, and two sisters for subjecting her to torture for dowry, she also filed a divorce petition in the family court.

In the divorce petition, she cited several instances of cruelty to which she had been allegedly subjected, including husband’s illicit relationship with another woman.

One of her grievances was that she was forced to wear sari by her in-laws.

After the family court rejected her divorce application, she filed an appeal in the High Court.

Upholding the family court’s decision, the High Court last week said that in-laws’ insistence on wearing sari cannot be an instance of cruelty, so as to dissolve the marriage.

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