Justice Sadhana Jadhav of the Bombay High Court, while upholding the conviction of a man charged under Section 498 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, held that forcing a woman to intercourse with other men and setting it as a condition for consummation of their marriage amounted to cruelty.
The Court said, “P. W. 1 has deposed before the Court in her substantive evidence that her husband i.e. present appellant had refused to consummate the marriage and was insisting upon her to have sexual relations with three other persons. There is omission as far as the same is condition precedent for consummation of marriage. The allegation itself would be mental harassment to the wife.”
The Court showed leniency to the appellant because the appeal was being heard after 20 years and hence his sentence was restricted to the period of imprisonment already undergone.
The woman was crippled by one leg and she was polio stricken. She happened to be a distant relative of the present appellant and both the family members were well acquainted with each other.
In February, 1994, she approached the Police Station and lodged a report that her marriage was not consummated. She alleged that he insisted that she should sleep with three other men, about which she even informed her father.
When she refused to sleep with the men, her husband allegedly forcibly administered some spurious substance into her mouth. She was rushed to a hospital by her father-in-law and brother-in-law after she raised hue and cry.
The Court hence ruled that it can be safely inferred that the accused has committed an offence under Section 498 (A) of the IPC.
Read the judgment here.