Delhi district court judgment highlights instances of sexual violence within marriage

In its judgment denying the relief of divorce to the husband, the Delhi High Court has acknowledged that he subjected his wife to sexual abuse, apart from subjecting her to other abusive and humiliating acts. In this case, the husband had sought a divorce on the grounds desertion and cruelty. Denial of conjugal rights is an oft cited ground for divorce that derives support from a series of judgments from higher courts that state that “a sexless marriage is an anathema.” The court has clarified that such acts, even though not recognised as marital rape, constitute mental cruelty under marriage and divorce law.