We are at a juncture where there are discussions of adding one more gender biased law in the name of ‘marital rape’ to the long list of matrimonial laws, that allow a woman to prosecute her husband and his family.
However, while we have been only making new laws over the years, we have failed totally to address the problem of its misuse. While the below matter is subjudice and we refrain from taking either sides, the same demonstrates how families of men are left running for bail on mere allegation of the woman.
A sitting sessions judge, along with his family, moved the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of an FIR registered against him based on his estranged wife’s complaint. The woman, in her complaint registered at Warud Police Station in Amravati, alleged that her husband subjected her to
- Unnatural sex
- Physical and mental harassment
- Clicking her obscene photographs on his mobile phone
Judge & Entire Family Booked
Based on the wife’s complaint, the FIR was initially registered at Muktai Nagar Police Station in Jalgaon. However, on grounds of “want of jurisdiction”, it was transferred to Warud Police Station. Thereafter, the judge and his family members were booked under IPC sections
After family secured anticipatory bail from the sessions court, they were asked to report to the police station every week. Following this, the family moved the HC through counsel Parvez Mishra against the sessions court’s verdict.
Interim Bail Granted By High Court
A division bench comprising justices Sheeram Modak and Zaka Haq directed the police to not file a chargesheet without the permission of the court and has granted interim respite to the petitioners. The bench observed,
Considering facts of the case, especially wife’s complaint after filing mutual divorce case under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, we keep in abeyance sessions judge directives in the anticipatory bail application filed by petitioners.
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The bench added that till further orders, there was no need for the petitioners to report to the police station.
Judge Husband Argues False Charges
The petitioners questioned the delay of 13-months in the registration of the FIR. They argued that the delay makes the charges levelled against them “highly doubtful”. Also, the wife, in her complaint, did not disclose that a case of divorce with mutual consent was lodged last year, they contended.