Kerala HC Upholds Marital Rape as Valid Ground for Divorce

Kerala HC Upholds Marital Rape as Valid Ground for Divorce

The Kerala High Court recently made a significant judgment upheld that marital rape, as a good ground to claim divorce even though it cannot be penalized in India. The bench consisting of Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Kauser Edappagath rejected the two appeals made by the husband-appellant who sought to challenge the judgement of the Family Court.

The husband in this case was a former doctor who became a part of the real estate business and construction. Due to this change, the behaviour of the husband changed as he forced the wife to give him a sum of approximately Rs.77 lakhs on various occasions. The most serious accusation against him was that that the appellant committed forceful sex on the wife even when she was sick, bedridden, and even on the day his mother expired. The appellant-husband also accused the wife of having an illicit relationship with the caretaker of the apartment but could not provide proof to the court.

The court stated that marital rape occurs when the husband is under the notion that the body of his wife is his, however, such a notion has no place in modern social jurisprudence and that partners should treat each other equally. On viewing the facts of the case the High court upheld the Family court decision and also stated the marital rape is clearly a ground for cruelty that could be used to warrant a  divorce.