A sessions court has granted pre-arrest bail to a man and four members of his family in a dowry harassment case, in which the wife had also alleged forcible sex that led to waist-down paralysis. The court observed that while the young girl suffering paralysis was unfortunate, being her husband the man cannot be said to have committed anything illegal.
Additional sessions judge Sanjashree J Gharat stated in her order, “It is the further grievance of the complainant that the husband committed sexual intercourse with her against her wish.” The court went on to say, “However, it cannot be said that he committed any illegal thing.”
An exception to the offence of rape under the Indian Penal Code reads that sexual intercourse or sexual acts of a man with his own wife, the wife not being below 15 years of age, is not rape.
Thus, marital rape is still not a crime in India. The court called it “very unfortunate” that the young girl suffered from paralysis.
It said that the man and his parents cannot be held responsible for this. The woman, who got married in November last year, had complained that one month after marriage her husband had started committing forcible sexual intercourse. In January, after an intercourse, she had started feeling unwell. When she went to a doctor, she was informed that she had suffered paralysis below her waist.
In her complaint, the woman alleged that her in-laws put restrictions on her, taunted, abused and demanded dowry. The husband and his family claimed protection from arrest, stating they had been falsely implicated and that they had not demanded dowry. The court remarked on this aspect that while the woman had claimed that she was mistreated by the family for not paying dowry, she had not specified what was the demand made by them.
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