New Delhi: A newlywed man has been charged for rape after his wife accused him of coercing her into sex without consent, making for one of the first cases of domestic abuse, where a woman has slapped rape charges on her husband. She has also filed complaints of alleged torture and dowry demands against her in-laws.
According to a report in The Times of India, the woman approached the court after the man continued to assault her even after she got pregnant.
Police investigations have also revealed that at the time when the marriage alliance was fixed, the man’s family in a subterfuge lied to the woman’s family that the groom is a senior official at a private bank.
However, after reaching her in-laws’ home in West Bengal's Bansberia, the woman came to discover that he was a junior employee at a small private firm. Few days into the marriage, he stopped going to that job as well, said the report.
Confronted by betrayal, the woman tried avoiding her husband. However, he forced himself upon her. In her complaint, the woman also claimed that she was tortured by her in-laws.
Women’s rights organisations, which have been advocating for an amendment to an Indian Penal Code section to include marital rape, said the FIR was merely the ‘first step’. The real test, according to them, would be the way the police navigate through the case and file the chargesheet.
“Rape has been defined as sexual intercourse or any penetration against someone’s will. Just because a woman is married, it does not take away the right to say no. A husband cannot own his wife’s body and use it the way he pleases. There must be consent,” women’s rights organisation Swayam founder-director Anuradha Kapoor told TOI.
She pointed out that owing to the lacunae in the law, most marital rape cases are usually registered under the Domestic Violence Act or Anti-Dowry Act.