A 23-year-old woman in Bhopal has filed for divorce from her husband on the ground of personal hygiene. The family court has asked the couple to stay separately for six months, after which they will be granted a decree of divorce.
The couple got married last year and has filed for a divorce by mutual consent. The husband is Sindhi while the wife is a Brahman. The husband does not bathe or shave for 7-8 days at a stretch. The marriage was arranged inter-community because the husband could not find a suitable match in his own community.
The state women’s commission (SWC) heard the wife’s complaint and asked her husband to mend his ways within 2 months.
The SWC member said that the complainant was adamant on her demand for separation from her husband. “I don’t want to live with my husband anymore. I can no longer bear the humiliation” quoted the wife.
Such cases have also been observed in other countries like Taiwan where a judge granted divorce because the wife bathed once a year and did not brush her teeth or wash her hair on a regular basis. This became a hurdle in their procreating since a decade.
Matters of hygiene should not be taken lightly. The courts through their interpretation of Article 21 have at various instances declared Right to Hygiene and Sanitation as an extension of Right to Life.
Author: Nandini Gandhi