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Court condemned the "societal mindset" that views women as objects to be controlled and exploited, emphasizing that such attitudes perpetuate a culture of abuse and exploitation
The Delhi High Court has recently refused to grant anticipatory bail to a man accused of physically and sexually abusing his wife, shedding light on the troubling dynamics within marriages characterized by "unchecked dominance" and entitlement.
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma condemned the "societal mindset" that views women as objects to be controlled and exploited, emphasizing that such attitudes perpetuate a culture of abuse and exploitation.
The case unfolded as the woman alleged mental, physical, and sexual abuse by her husband, along with demands for dowry. She further claimed that objectionable videos were made of her by the accused.
"Being labeled and continuously called and reminded repeatedly that she had a status of a mere as a cow meant only for milking or a golden hen expected to lay golden eggs is deeply disturbing and indicative of the dehumanizing treatment the victim endured, which highlights the systemic issue of objectification and exploitation of women within certain societal frameworks," the judge said.
In a recent order, the court underscored the distressing reality where marriage is perverted into a platform for unchecked dominance, with husbands wielding authority over their wives as objects to be controlled at will.
The court noted, "The specific incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse recounted in this case unveil a troubling reality—one where marriage is distorted into a vessel for unchecked dominance and entitlement".
"Embedded within this warped perception is a dangerous belief that the marital bond grants unchecked authority to the husband, transforming his wife into a mere object to be wielded at will. The portrayal of the victim as a commodity reflects a deeply entrenched societal mindset that views women as objects to be controlled, exploited, and disposed of at will," it added.
The court opined that such accused persons should be dealt with a "stern hand."
"The accused is seeking anticipatory bail, whereas his custodial interrogation may be required for the purpose of recovering any inappropriate photographs, conversations, audios, or videos, as alleged by the victim's wife. Considering the same, this Court does not find any ground to grant anticipatory bail to the applicant or accused herein," it ordered.
The court emphasized that the allegations were specific and revealed a pattern of abuse and exploitation by the husband, indicative of a blatant disregard for his wife's well-being and autonomy.
Justice Sharma noted the gravity of the offense, denouncing the accused's belief that he was entitled to abuse his wife sexually, physically, and economically. Such attitudes, the court declared, contravene the very principles of the country's laws.
The court highlighted the systemic issue of objectification and exploitation of women within certain societal frameworks, emphasizing the need to address such cases with a firm hand.
While dismissing the plea for anticipatory bail, the court emphasized the necessity of the accused's custodial interrogation to recover evidence supporting the victim's claims.
The man claimed that he had been falsely implicated, and his wife concocted a false story because she did not want to stay with him.
Rejecting the contention, the court noted that there was no dearth of cases highlighting a “disturbing trend” where the factum of a woman earning became her handicap on the premise that, being an independent woman, she was not inclined to live with the husband and the in-laws and thus conveniently put under wraps the physical, mental, sexual, and economic abuse on her.
"It is an irony of situation that in several cases, the factum of a woman not working becomes the source of her handicap of raising voice against atrocities for fear of being stigmatized or faced with a dilemma as to where she would go, in case she is thrown out of her matrimonial home, in face of a situation where the doors of her parental home may also not be easily accessible or welcoming to her... another disturbing trend where the factum of a woman earning and employed becomes her handicap too, on the premise that since being a woman, she is earning and independent, she is not herself inclined to live with the husband and the in-laws, conveniently trying to put under wraps the reason for her to raise her voice against physical, mental, sexual and economic abuse by the husband," the court said.
Case Title: Nitin Kumar Tomar v. The State Govt of NCT of Delhi
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