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Kerala High Court: Marital Rape is a good ground to claim divorce

A division bench of the Kerala high court rejected the appeal of a husband against divorce claims. The court further added that treating a wife’s body as something which is owned by the husband and subjecting sexual crime against her is marital rape.

According to the Kerala high court marital rape is a good reason to claim divorce. The court also added that the law does not recognize marital rape under the penal law. But that does not stop the court from recognizing the same as a form of cruelty to grant a divorce.

The Kerala High Court made a statement that “Right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity encompasses bodily integrity, any disrespect or violation of bodily integrity is a violation of individual autonomy”. The order was passed on 30.07.2021, a copy of which was uploaded this Friday.

The court thinks that marriage and divorce should come under secular law. The bench of justices including A Muhamed Mustaque and Dr. Kauser Edappagath think it is not difficult to have a similar code of law for all communities for marriage and divorce.

A person is free to get married by his or her choice by personal law. However, to prevent suppression of the spouse marriages should come under secular law. The need of the hour is that we redesign the marriage law in the country.

Also, as a legal body, we should be ready to deal and compensate with marital damages. Moreover, to deal with human problems and sufferings the law should have a humane mind to respond.

Earlier, the court was considering the appeal of the husband against the verdict of the family court. The petitioner got a divorce on the grounds of cruelty and denial of conjugal rights.

The wife in this particular case was under stress. She just wanted a divorce and has abandoned all her monetary claims.

Furthermore, the court pointed out that the husband’s urge for wealth and sex forced the wife to opt for a divorce.

A spouse should not suffer, and the law cannot force a spouse to suffer against their wishes by denying divorce.

The law should protect the honor of an individual. The present generation should understand that marriages should be based on equality and respect for both partners.

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