Marital Rape: Know why India should criminalize it

Marital rape has once again hit the streets after the issue went into Delhi court. However the court a mixed review over the issue over a petition filed in court regarding the same.
150 nations across the world had criminalized Marital Rape
150 nations across the world had criminalized Marital Rape Image Source: thequint.com
Before moving further, let’s take a fact with us, India is among the only 50 nations that have so far not declared Marital Rape as a crime. It must be noted here that the list majorly holds the name of states where Islam has been considered as its official religion or countries like China and North Korea where the democracy is an endangered(extinct) specie.

The Delhi High Court had been hearing a plea filed recently. The plea demanded consideration of forced sex by a man with his wife as Marital Rape. The two-judge bench, consisting Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Hari Shankar, however, gave dissenting opinions over the issue.

While Justice Rajiv Shakdher favored the idea of criminalizing Marital Rape, Justice Justice Hari Shankar, however, stated a different opinion and believed Marital Rape holds no violation of the law. The petitioners can move to Supreme Court, if not satisfied.

Delhi High Court gave dissent opinion over the issue
Delhi High Court gave dissent opinion over the issue
Not Unconstitutional
While Justice Rajiv Shakdher favoring the issue believed coercive relationship with the consent of the wife is a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution and hence one must be punished However, Justice C Harishankar contrary to Justice Rajiv Shakdher's views believed that exception 2 of IPC section 375 does not violate the Constitution. Hence, can’t be considered a violation of the law.

What is the present situation regarding the same?
Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code states the definition of Rape and has been considered an offense, however, the section also holds an exception in clause 2.

Marital Rape is not a crime in nation yet
Marital Rape is not a crime in nation yet Image Source: NPR
What does this exception say?
The exception states, “sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape”, i.e. a man having sex without the consent of her wife had noot been considered as a crime so far. This is the reason why the nation had been witnessing a huge debate over the issue.
Centre’s reaction
High Court while hearing the issue appointed two senior advocates Rebecca Joan and Rajasekhar Rao to assist the court in the matter and also asked the center to present its stand over the issue.
Image Source: Indiatoday.in

While Rebecca Joan and Rajasekhar Rao favored the idea of removing the exception from 375 of IPC, the center, however, in an affidavit stated that the matter needed to hold a comprehensive approach and also said that discussions have been going on with the states too over the same. The center also stated that women are the main pillars of any civilized society and is thus committed to their rights and freedom.

What does the center believe?
Center earlier responding over the issue stated that criminalizing the matter might bring social and legal consequences to the country and could also become a weapon for women to harass their men as is being widely seen in the case of Dowry(section 498-A) However, the center, in February, this year stated to the High Court, that it was reconsidering its earlier stand and has been discussing with states and other stakeholders over the issue.
NFH survey states that 29% of women suffer from Physical or Sexual harassment from their men
NFH survey states that 29% of women suffer from Physical or Sexual harassment from their men Image Source: The Leaflet
Why Marital Rape should be criminalized
One may hold an argument that what goes on in bed should not be a matter of discussion, however, the National Family Health survey(NFH-5)depicts that 29% of women(Rural 32%, Urban 24%) across the nation had been witnessing Physical or Sexual harassment.

The Constitution of the nation treats every person as equal in the eyes of law, hence, one’s right could not get dissolved upon marriage. However, there are chances that the law might bring tensions for the innocent one too, but the thought does not hold a good reason to keep a rapist outside the bars.

150 nations across the world had criminalized Marital Rape
Your Semen should bring Pleasure not Pressure to your partner, know how to establish safe sex

Also, what goes on in bed is a matter of discussion, as the task performed there is not being performed or enjoyed by both parties, hence the voice of one who has been suffering through unbearable pain needs to get heard.

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