Epilepsy Not a Mental Disorder, Cannot be Ground for Divorce: Bombay HC

Mumbai: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ruled that epilepsy in a spouse does not constitute cruelty and is not a valid reason for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act. The court emphasized that epilepsy is neither an incurable disease nor a mental disorder.

In a recent case, a 33-year-old man had filed for divorce, citing cruelty from his wife, who he claimed suffered from epilepsy and was mentally unsound. He sought divorce under Section 13 (1) (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, which allows divorce if one spouse is incurably of unsound mind or suffering continuously from a mental disorder to the extent that cohabitation is impossible.

However, the court dismissed the man’s plea, stating that he failed to prove his wife’s epilepsy or its impact on her mental health. The court highlighted that medical evidence indicated that individuals with epilepsy can lead normal lives.

The court clarified that the woman had experienced seizures, not epilepsy, and even if she did have epilepsy, it would not qualify as a mental disorder or grounds for divorce. The medical evidence supported the view that her condition would not prevent the spouses from living together.

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