Woman divorces 'no sex or soap operas' husband

An Indian woman has successfully divorced her husband after he declined to have sex, spat on her and refused her permission to watch television soap operas.

A court in the southern city of Pune heard that the situation led to daily arguments and that the woman felt she had no other option but to file for divorce. Judge MG Kulkarni ruled that the husband's behaviour amounted to cruelty.

"From February 2005, the husband started picking up quarrels with the wife almost every day on the ground that she was seeing Hindi serials on TV channels," he said. "The husband was not allowing the wife to see programmes on TV as per her choice." As in many other parts of the world, soap operas have a huge following in India, especially among women and domestic servants. The court heard that the couple, who had been married for eight years and had a daughter, began fighting in 2005 as a result of their differences.

The divorce was granted in August but details only emerged this week when the husband appealed in the Bombay High Court against the judgment, which had also granted custody of their daughter to the wife. Lawyers for the husband, a software engineer, argued that the woman's claims of cruelty were false and that his treatment amounted to no more than the normal "wear and tear" of married life. The judges, due back in court next week, urged the couple to seek conciliation.

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