The Delhi High Court refused to grant anticipatory bail to a man who was accused of sexually, physically, and economically abusing his wife.

It said that the specific incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse recounted in the case unveil a troubling reality, one where marriage is distorted into a vessel for unchecked dominance and entitlement.

The Court was deciding an application under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) filed by the accused seeking grant of anticipatory bail for the offence under Sections 498A, 406, 506, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

A Single Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said, “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.”

The Bench added that being labelled 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.

Advocate C.M. Grover appeared on behalf of the petitioner while APP Satish Kumar appeared on behalf of the respondent.

Factual Background -

The accused/husband and the victim/complainant/wife got married in 2021 and a total amount of about Rs. 60-70 lakhs were spent on their wedding by the victim’s family which was more than their capacity. However, the husband started misbehaving with his wife since the very first night of their marriage. He used to have forceful sexual intercourse with her and used to beat her. Due to this, the victim suffered certain internal gynaecological problems but he continued to ill-treat her. He and his family also used to harass the victim’s family and he started demanding her entire salary.

The husband used to physically abuse the victim everyday and had burnt her hand due to which her health deteriorated. The victim also came to know that the husband had extramarital affair with many women and used to make pornographic movies. He had taken her objectionable photos as well and ran a sex racket. One night after consuming alcohol, he insisted on making an inappropriate sexual video of her to which she refused. Hence, an FIR was filed against him.

The High Court in view of the above facts observed, “While deciding cases as the one in hand, the Courts cannot close their eyes to the hard realities of societal situations of individuals. 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.”

The Court said that the case presents an argument that the woman being working did not want to live with the husband and the normal wear and tear of matrimonial life has been projected as atrocities and cruelties for non-fulfilment of dowry and false implication of the accused/husband and his family.

“The specific allegations include accused/applicant taking inappropriate photographs of the victim, who was his wife, and therefore, an easy prey for taking her inappropriate photographs and making her videos which were sexually explicit taking advantage of their relationship and the mindset that a woman has to give in to any kind of sexual satisfaction of her husband or be labeled as a bad wife. Together with the abovesaid fact, he continuously threatened to publicly shame her, if she did not comply with his demands, including surrendering her entire salary earned as a teacher. The complainant, due to concerns about her reputation as an educator, could not continue to endure the atrocities inflicted upon her by the applicant and his family members”, it noted.

Furthermore, the Court observed that the allegations are neither vague nor lacking in specificity regarding dates, locations, and the manner in which the incidents occurred, including demands for dowry.

It also noted that the use of force, coercion, and intimidation to extract compliance from the victim underscores the systemic nature of the abuse and the lengths to which perpetrators will go to maintain their power and control.

“This Court is of the opinion 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 wife”, it concluded.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the application.

Cause Title- Nitin Kumar Tomar v. The State Govt of NCT of Delhi (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:871)


Petitioner: ---

Respondent: Advocates R.N. Dubey and Tarun Garg.

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