HIV+ man rapes wife, uses her to pay debt

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Rape  ImageA Bandra family court grants divorce to the victim on grounds of extreme cruelty. In an extreme case of domestic cruelty, an HIV positive man not only forced his wife to have physical relations with him for years but also forced her to sleep with a money-lender as a way of paying off his debt. The victim’s long ordeal came to an end recently when a family court in Bandra granted her divorce.

Interestingly, the 30-year-old Borivali resident had not even pleaded her husband, a 38-year-old Kurla resident, being HIV positive as a ground for divorce. Family court judge P L Palsingankar, however, ruled two things as extreme cruelty-the husband forcing his wife to have intercourse with him despite knowing about his medical condition and forcing her to sleep with someone else without her consent.

The couple got married in February 1998 at Vile Parle and have two children. According to the wife’s petition, she was treated well for the first few months, but later on the husband started showing his true colours. He often abused and beat her. He also stayed out of the house on flimsy excuses, while actually gambling and visiting prostitutes.

The victim contended that her husband was diagnosed with HIV in April 2002.  Yet, he revealed this information to her only in October that year. The family then shifted to the husband’s native village in Ratnagiri in December the same year.

As per the petition, the husband continued with his vices even in the village and made no efforts towards securing a livelihood. He then took a loan from a local money-lender, which she came to know about only after the lender reached her home in March 2003 to ask for his money. Around two weeks later, the lender came to the house again and tried to molest her.

The petition further stated that when she narrated the episode to her husband, he told her that he himself had asked him to “recover the money any way”. He then asked his wife if she enjoyed “the company of the moneylender”.

She also contended that in August 2003, she conceived but the pregnancy was forcefully terminated, as her husband suspected it was the moneylender’s child.  Later, the husband again started demanding sex, despite the fact that he was HIV positive and even threatened to kill his wife, when she resisted. She finally fled to her parents’ house in Mumbai in 2008, and the husband never bothered to check on her.

The husband, though refuted all allegations, could not prove his innocence. (MM)

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