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Marital rape is enough to claim divorce, says Kerala High Court

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Marital rape was affirmed by the Kerala High Court as a valid basis for divorce.

It recently said that such incidents only occur when a husband believes that his wife’s body owes him something, although such a belief has no place in modern social law, the division bench of Justice A Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Kauser Edappagath said, Livelaw reported. 


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 “Treating a wife’s body as something owing to husband and committing sexual acts against her will is nothing but marital rape,” the court said emphasizing the fact that just because the law does not recognize marital rape as a form of cruelty does not mean the court will not recognize it as such and grant a divorce.

Issue that led to the remark

rape 2 divorce The North-Eastern Chronicle

The remark was made after the court dismissed two appeals filed by a man challenging a family court’s decision to grant a divorce in a case that has been going on for over a decade. 

“An insatiable urge for wealth and sex of a husband had driven a woman to distress. In desperation for obtaining a divorce, she had forsaken and abandoned all her monetary claims. Her cry for divorce has been prolonged in the temple of justice for more than a decade,” the court observed.

Complain of a wife against harassment

The family court allowed a petition for divorce based on cruelty, and an appeal was filed at the high court. According to the complaint, the woman was harassed in a variety of ways.

Her father is believed to have paid the husband 77 lakh multiple times because she was under financial duress. According to reports, the woman said she was forced to have sex while “sick, bedridden, and even on the day the husband’s mother passed away.”

Burden of the marriage

They married in 1995 and have two children together. When the couple married, the husband was a “certified medical doctor,” but he never practiced. 

The husband’s father is in the real estate company, and he, too, got into the business, which did not go well for him. It was an arranged marriage, with the groom receiving 501 gold sovereigns, a car, and a flat during the wedding.

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