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Honeymoon torture charge

New Delhi, Dec. 12: A newly wed woman has accused her husband of torturing, raping and sodomising her on their honeymoon trip to Bangkok.

A senior officer said the 23-year-old had approached the police late last night with her complaint against husband Punit Bhardwaj, a project manager with a private firm in Delhi. Bhardwaj has disappeared from his southwest Delhi home.

Since Indian law does not recognise marital rape unless the couple are living apart after judicial separation, an FIR has been lodged under the Indian Penal Code’s Section 377 dealing with sex “against the order of nature”.

Even if the Supreme Court had not overturned yesterday a high court ruling that had declared parts of the section unconstitutional, there would still have been a case because Bhardwaj’s alleged act was not consensual.

“In her complaint, the wife mentioned that her husband’s behaviour during their honeymoon in Bangkok resulted in unbearable physical and mental torture to her. He allegedly branded her skin with cigarettes and performed inhuman activities,” an officer said.

The officer said the complainant, a project manager with another private firm, had had an “arranged marriage” with Bhardwaj on November 29. The couple left for their honeymoon on December 1 and returned on December 8.

She went to her parents’ home on December 10, where she broke down and narrated her alleged ordeal. The next day, she and her parents approached the police.

The woman has been sent to hospital for treatment of her injuries. Police teams have been formed to nab the husband.

According to the police, the complainant said that when the couple flew to Bangkok on December 1, everything was fine and pleasant. But as soon as they checked into a hotel in Bangkok, things allegedly took a bad turn.

“She said the accused used to sodomise her against her will and brand her body with cigarettes. Whenever she objected, he allegedly beat her up and threatened her with dire consequences,” an officer said.

“On some occasions during their honeymoon, the victim alleged, she was even forced to drink urine.”

The complainant said she could not contact her family members from Bangkok because her husband kept her under close watch.