In its historic judgement ,  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, who is 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 the judgment, the court has observed that the nature of the allegations made by the woman was very serious.

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