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Marital Rape Shouldn’t it be a crime?

India, with a population of 136 crores is the second-highest populated country in the world. It has a female population of 66.2 crores which is approximately 48% of the total population.

But this is not the whole picture, thousands of cases go unreported, thousands of women are not able to get justice because of issues such as social unacceptance, fear of getting abused again. Rape is a crime in India under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 Section 375 states that A man is said to commit “rape” who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions: - Firstly – Against her will. Secondly – Without her consent. Thirdly – With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person

in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt. Fourthly – With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that

consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or

believes herself to be lawfully married. Fifthly – With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of

unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or

through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to

understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent. Sixth – With or without her consent, when she is under the age of sixteen years.

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the

offense of rape. Exception: Sexual intercourse by a man with her consent his own wife, the wife not being

under fifteen years of age, is not rape.

Section 376 of The Indian Penal Code 1860 talks about the punishment for rape.

But Marital Rape is neither a crime in The Indian Penal Code nor in any other Indian statute. But Why? After the marriage is it okay for a husband to sexually molest his wife? Does marriage give the right to the husband to have sexual intercourse with his wife even without her consent? Women mainly housewives have to work a lot to maintain their house, still, they do not get the respect they deserve. They have to agree to her husband’s order without wanting it. It is believed ot we can say that marriage means an implied consent for sex. The wife has to fulfill the sexual desires of her husband even when she does not want to.

Marital rape is a huge problem in India. 1 in 3 men admit to raping their wives, and 1 Indian woman is raped by her husband every 3 seconds. It is a crying shame that even after so many years marital rape has not been criminalized in this country.

Marital Rape is against the legal and constitutional rights: Violative of Article 14: Marital rape violates the right to equality enshrined in Article 14 of the ndian constitution.

  • The Exception creates two classes of women based on their marital status and immunizes actions perpetrated by men against their wives. In doing so, the Exception makes possible the victimization of married

  • women for no reason other than their marital status while protecting unmarried women from those same acts. Defeats the Spirit of Section 375 of IPC: The purpose of Section 375 of IPC is to protect women and punish those who engage in the inhumane activity of rape.

  • However, exempting husbands from punishment is entirely contradictory to that objective, as the consequences of rape are the same whether a woman is married or unmarried.

  • Moreover, married women may actually find it more difficult to escape abusive conditions at home because they are legally and financially tied to their husbands.

Violative of Article 21: According to creative interpretation by the Supreme Court, rights enshrined in Article 21 include the rights to health, privacy, dignity, safe living conditions, and safe environment, among others.

Conclusion We should understand that Marriage is not implied consent for sex. The wife should have a lawful right to deny sex if she doesn’t want to. Then only this place would be a better place for all to live with dignity, liberty, and safety. Marital Rape exists and it the high time to criminalize it.

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