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Friday April 19, 2024

Man jailed for three years for marital rape

By Yousuf Katpar
January 20, 2024

A sessions court has sentenced a man to three years of rigorous imprisonment on charges of sodomising his wife, in what her lawyer described Sindh’s first conviction over marital rape.

A prisoner can be seen in this image. — AFP/File
A prisoner can be seen in this image. — AFP/File

Javed was found guilty of forcing his wife to have unnatural sex with him, a punishable act under Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the Pakistan Penal Code. Additional Sessions Judge (South) Ashraf Hussain Khowaja announced his judgment reserved after recording evidence and final arguments from both defence and prosecution sides.

He sentenced the convict to three-year rigorous imprisonment and ordered him to pay a Rs30,000 fine. In case of failure to pay the fine, the convict would have to undergo additional one month of simple imprisonment.“From perusal of evidence brought at the trial by the prosecution, it appears that the victim has fully established commission of sodomy with her by the accused being her husband,” the judge observed.

“Though the victim/complainant contradicted some facts relating to the period of her stay with the accused, putting her signature on memo of site inspection at PS, suffering from disease of piles and her age which are immaterial facts which would not be fatal to the prosecution case,” he added.

The judge noted the ocular version was supported by the medical evidence. On the other hand, he said the accused failed to establish “enmity” that her wife loved somebody else and therefore she implicated him falsely. The convict’s sisters who appeared as defence witnesses failed even to disclose the name of the alleged paramour of the victim, he added.

According to the prosecution, the accused forced his wife to have oral and anal sex with him after their marriage on July 23, 2022.

The victim testified that her husband would commit sodomy with her despite her attempts to stop him. About two months after their marriage, she informed her mother-in-law, who didn’t say anything to him, she said, adding that then she disclosed her ordeal to her sister and brother, after which she lodged an FIR against her husband on November 23, 2022.

Advocate Bahzad Akbar of the Legal Aid Society, who represented the complainant, contended that sodomy falls within the definition of rape, marital rape in this case, after an amendment brought to Section 375 of the Pakistan Penal Code in 2021.

He said that the woman’s testimony as well as medical evidence corroborated the charges against the accused. He requested the judge to punish him as per the law. “I am not sure about other provinces but this is certainly first such conviction over marital rape in Sindh following the amendment,” he told The News. He added there are no known convictions on charge of marital rape in the country. An FIR had been lodged under Section 377 of the PPC at the Chakiwara police station on the woman’s complaint.