Calling husband ‘elephant’ is cruelty

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The court said that fat-shaming, even if the spouse is overweight, “is bound to strike at his self-respect and self-esteem”

A court in the Indian capital has ruled that calling a husband “fat elephant” could be grounds for divorce.

The Delhi high court upheld a 2012 lower court order which had granted divorce, saying that taunting a spouse amounted to “mental cruelty”.

The 35-year-old businessman weighs 100kg (220lb).

He said his wife regularly “humiliated him for being overweight and incapable of satisfying her sexual desires”, Indian media reports said.

“The calling of names and hurling of abuses such as ‘Hathi’ [elephant], ‘Mota Hathi’ [fat elephant] by the appellant in respect of her husband – even if he was overweight, is bound to strike at his self-respect and self-esteem,” India Today quoted Justice Vipin Sanghi as saying.

“Obviously, the respondent was sensitive to such taunts, and it is not the appellant’s case that the taunts were made jokingly, or out of love and affection, and without malice,” he added.

The woman had said her husband’s allegations were “vague and non-specific”, but the court rejected her argument.

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