Parent Inciting Children Against Other Parent Deemed Cruelty, Ground for Divorce: Delhi High Court


In a recent landmark decision, the Delhi High Court shed light on the issue of parental alienation as a form of mental cruelty in matrimonial disputes, warranting divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The case brought before a division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal Krishna highlighted the grave consequences of a parent’s attempt to turn children against the other parent. This article examines the court’s observations and the legal implications of its ruling.


The case involved a married couple with two daughters, where the wife left the matrimonial home in 1999. Allegations of adultery surfaced in 2012, when the wife, accompanied by one of their daughters, accused the husband in front of witnesses. The husband contested these allegations, while the wife provided evidence to support her claims, including the testimony of their minor daughter.

Legal Analysis:

The court recognized that differences between spouses are inevitable but emphasized that involving minor children in marital conflicts is unjustifiable. It condemned the wife’s actions, describing them as parental alienation – a deliberate attempt to turn children against one parent. This behaviour, the court noted, constitutes not only cruelty towards the aggrieved spouse but also inflicts emotional harm on the child.

The court’s decision to grant divorce was based on the established grounds of mental cruelty under Section 13 (i) (ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. It held that the evidence presented, including false allegations, police reports, and the manipulation of children, demonstrated irreconcilable differences and prolonged suffering, making reconciliation untenable.


The Delhi High Court’s ruling sets a precedent by acknowledging parental alienation as a significant factor in determining matrimonial disputes. It underscores the importance of protecting children from being used as pawns in marital conflicts and highlights the legal recourse available to victims of such emotional abuse. This decision serves as a reminder of the court’s role in safeguarding the sanctity of marriage while prioritizing the welfare of all parties involved, especially the children.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The content may not reflect the most current legal developments and is not guaranteed to be accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Readers should consult a qualified legal professional before taking any action based on the information provided. The authors and publishers disclaim any liability for any loss or damage incurred as a result of reliance on this article. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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