June 15, 2024

The Bihar

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Forcible sex ground for divorce: HC

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Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that “forcible sexual intercourse” and “adoption of unnatural means” which are forced upon the other spouse are grounds for divorce.

The high court recently allowed a Bathinda woman’s plea for dissolution of her marriage, almost four years after the lower court had turned it down.

The lower court had said it was for her to establish that her husband had committed oral and unnatural sex against her, and held that no medical evidence or a specific instance had been mentioned by her.

“Be that as it may, we find that the claim of the appellant has been wrongly rejected,” the division bench of Justices M M S Bedi and Hari Pal Verma said in the June 1 judgment.

“The act of sodomy, forcible sexual intercourse and adoption of unnatural means which are forced upon the other spouse and result in unbearable pain to the extent that one is forced to stay away would certainly be a ground to seek separation or decree of divorce,” it said.

The woman, a postgraduate diploma holder in Computer Application, had married the Bihar resident in January 2007 and had a child with him.

According to the woman’s plea, her family had even given dowry.

The woman’s family had been told that the man was an engineer with a private company, a claim which the petitioner alleged turned out to be false.

The woman alleged that for fulfilling his lust, her husband often beat her up and adopted “unnatural means”.

In its judgment, the court observed that the nature of the allegations levelled by the woman was very serious.

It added that they cannot be proved by any corroborative evidence, as such acts are not witnessed by any other person or cannot always be proved by medical evidence.

“No doubt such allegations are very easy to level and difficult to prove,” it said.

A court has always to be cautious before accepting such allegations, it said.

But it held that the marriage can be dissolved if on appreciation of the evidence and corroboration by other circumstances, it is established as probable that the spouse had indulged in such acts.

“It is not that in every case such allegations levelled would be deemed to be true. In the present case, there are allegations of demand of dowry, beating, commission of unnatural sex, creating such circumstances that the appellant was compelled to leave Bihar eight years back,” the bench said.

“The totality of the circumstances available on the record indicate that the appellant has, on account of unbearable circumstances left the matrimonial home,” the court said.

The court held that the woman had been treated with cruelty by her husband.

“The cruelty established in the present case is mental as well as physical,” the order said, adding that the marriage is dissolved by a decree of divorce.

Courtesy: Outlook India

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