Marital rape, although not penalised in India, is good ground for divorce: Kerala High Court

Marital rape, although not penalised in India, is good ground for divorce: Kerala High Court

The family court had observed that the appellant treated his wife as a money-minting machine

The Kerala High Court on Friday upheld that marital rape, although not penalised in India, is a good ground to claim divorce.

According to LiveLaw, a Division Bench of Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Kauser Edappagath observed that “a husband’s licentious disposition disregarding the autonomy of the wife is marital rape, albeit such conduct cannot be penalised, it falls in the frame of physical and mental cruelty."

“The case in hand, in fact, depicts a story of the struggle of a woman within the clutches of law to give primacy of choice “not to suffer" in the bondage of legal tie. An insatiable urge for wealth and sex of a husband had driven a woman to distress. In desperation for obtaining a divorce, she has forsaken and abandoned all her monetary claims. Her cry for divorce has been prolonged in the temple of justice for more than a decade (12 years)," added the observation.

The appeals were preferred by the husband against the judgment of the Family Court allowing a petition for divorce on the ground of cruelty and dismissing a petition for restitution of conjugal rights filed by the appellant.

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The family court had observed that the appellant treated his wife as a money-minting machine and that she had chosen to file for divorce when the harassment and cruelty reached a level beyond toleration.

According to the respondent, the appellant-husband practised a medical doctor at the time of their marriage.

However, after the marriage, he shifted to the real estate business and construction, which did not go well.

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