Zainab Khan (35) has suffered at the hands of her husband for 16 long years, but her torment ended last Tuesday, when the Family Court in Bandra granted her a divorce. Her husband Mohammed (45), who works at a Hardware Store in Aarey Colony, would allegedly thrash Zainab often, on account of what he believed was her infertility and inability to bear a child. The couple eventually learnt that while Zainab was fertile, it was Mohammed who had an abnormally low sperm count, as a result of which the couple was without issue.
According to her petition, Mohammed would regularly beat Zainab. Even though doctors gave Zainab a clean bill of health and said she was fit to conceive, her husband refused to undergo medical examination. In 2002, she finally convinced him to see a doctor. The semen analysis test revealed that Mohammed’s sperm count was just 0.5 million/cc. A healthy sperm count is 70 million/cc and above. On July 16, 2010, Zainab executed a khulanama, asking for divorce from Mohammad, but he refused to accept it. It is then that she approached the Family Court.
The court, however, rejected the argument that Mohammed is impotent. In his order, Judge Subhash Kafre observed, “Full and complete sexual penetration is an essential ingredient for ordinary and complete intercourse. The sperm count of the respondent was nil, but it does not mean that he was impotent or that he was unable to perform the sexual act in a complete and perfect manner. It is safe to hold that the petitioner has failed to establish that the respondent was impotent.”
However, the court noted that due to the cruelty — both mental and physical — that Zainab had suffered, the marriage should be dissolved.
The couple got married on May 3, 1996 in Kalyan. Three years later, their relationship hit rock bottom, and Mohammed allegedly started torturing her. In 2000, she moved into her parents’ home in Powai. Since Mohammed did not have a steady job, she began taking home tuitions to support herself. Mohammed would periodically demand money from her, forcing her to borrow in lakhs from her relatives. All the while, Mohammed would continually drink and consume drugs. He would also be suspicious of Zainab’s fidelity on baseless grounds.
(Names of litigants changed to protect identities)