MARITAL RAPE CAN BE GROUND FOR DIVORCE

Kerala high court in a case of divorce held that marital rape can be ground for divorce which is taken as a big step to recognise the provision against marital rape in india because till now there is no provision or law against marital rape in india whereas in other countries there is a provision against this marital rape to provide justice to women.

Rejecting the appeal of a husband against divorce, a division bench of the kerala high court said that treating a wife’s body as something that is owed to the husband and committing sexual acts against her will is nothing but marital rape. The verdict was passed by a division bench of justices muhamed mustaque and K edappagath. It turned down an appeal filed by the husband challenging a judgement of a family court granting divorce on the grounds of cruelty and dismissal of a petition for restitution of conjugal rights. The court also observed that the need of the hour is that marriage and divorce must be under secular law.

These two justices said that there cannot be any difficulty in having a common code of law for all communities at least for marriage and divorce. Treating wife’s body as something owning to husband and committing a sexual act against her will is nothing but marital rape. Right to respect for his of her physical and mental integrity encompasses bodily integrity, any disrespect or violation of bodily integrity is violation of individual autonomy, “the court said in its order on july 30”. The court said that spouses are equal in all aspects and husband cannot claim any superior right over wife either with respect to her body or with reference to individual status.

What the case about?

The couple married in 1995 and has two children. The court noted that the husband, a doctor by profession, received from his wife’s father 501 sovereign of gold, car and a flat at the time of marriage. The family court found that the husband was treating the wife as a money minting machine and that she has tolerated harassment for the sake of marriage, and chose to file a petition for divorce when harassment and cruelty reached beyond toleration.

Marital rape

Marital rape is any unwanted sexual acts by a spouse or ex-spouse, committed without consent and against a person’s will, obtained by force, or threat of force, intimidation, or when a person is unable to consent.

Social perception for marital rape

The common perception is that marriage gives the consent for whole life of a women for sexual acts and sexual inter course. Also women are treated as baby making machines where the right to bodily autonomy and reproductive rights are inconceivable and preposterous. According to morton hunt, an American psychologist “the typical marital rapist is a man who still believes that husband are supposed to rule their wives. It is supposed there will be the misuse of this law by women id such law is enacted and is is also said that the women of cosmopolitan cities can come forward and take justice because they are financially independent but what about the rural women, if rural women also raised such issues then the belief of marriage will decrease continuously and there will be not respect of marriage in the eyes of people. Also such marital rape issues can be included in domestic violence, dowry and cruelty and can punish the wrongdoer accordingly.

But the people who are in the favour of criminalising the marital rape they said that there is violation of article 14 and article 21 of the constitution.

References

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/marital-rape-a-ground-for-divorce-rules-kerala-hc/article35768148.ece

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/landmark-judgment-kerala-hc-recognises-marital-rape-ground-divorce-153556

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