Rebecca Samervel,TNN | Dec 29, 2013, 

MUMBAI: Observing that a husband’s impotence amounts to mental cruelty, a family court granted a woman, a Malad resident, maintenance from her estranged husband. 

“It is well settled law that if the respondent is impotent and the marriage has not been consummated, then it causes cruelty to the wife. Therefore, in this situation, mental cruelty is caused to the wife and on this ground, she is entitled to stay separate and claim maintenance,” the court said. 

The court granted the 19-year-old woman a monthly maintenance of Rs 3,500. Additionally, the man will have to pay arrears amounting to Rs 77,000 in six installments along with Rs 3,000 as costs of the litigation. 

The woman, a housewife, who had filed a petition on February 6 last year, said she got married on May 22, 2010. But the marriage could not be consummated as the man was impotent. The woman confided in the man’s sister and sought help. She also told her father who tried to help the man by getting him the best possible medical help. But the problem persisted and the marriage was never consummated. 

The husband, eventually, deserted the woman on August 6, 2011, and did not pay her any money for her expenses. The woman claimed the man had a fruit business and earned Rs 25,000 every month. Stating that she had no source of income, the woman sought a monthly maintenance of Rs 5,000. 

In the court, the man did not file his reply. The court said as he remained absent and failed to cross-examine the woman’s version, her evidence remained unchallenged. It was proved that the man had neglected to maintain her though he had sufficient means to do so, the court added, observing that a monthly maintenance of Rs 3,500 would be just and reasonable.