Marital rape is a form of cruelty, divorce plea will be accepted: Kerala HC.

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Considering Marital rape as a form of cruelty, the Kerala HC announced of accepting pleas to seek divorce on grounds of Marital rape. “Treating wife’s body as something owing to husband and committing sexual act against her will is nothing but marital rape. Right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity encompass bodily integrity; any disrespect or violation of bodily integrity is a violation of individual autonomy…,”the HC said.

“A spouse in a marriage has a choice, a choice not to suffer, which is fundamental to the autonomy guaranteed under natural law and the Constitution. Law cannot compel a spouse to suffer against his/her wish by denial of divorce,” the High Court said. The HC also mentioned that in present laws by the governing body in case of divorce, an individual is free to seek separation on defined grounds of cruelty, adultery, desertion etc. A division bench of the High Court of Justices A Muhamed Mustaque and Kauser Edappagath said, “Though such conduct cannot be penalised, it falls in the frame of physical and mental cruelty” referring to unnatural physical attempts (or say sex) against the husband.

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