Is the government right in decriminalizing marital rape?

Is the government right in decriminalizing marital rape?


Modi government has decided upon yet another blunder in the making and this time it won't be wrong if opposition takes the opportunity to criticize the government for being dictatorial and unjust. Government has said that the concept of marital rape cannot be applied in India. Our ministers seems to be struck beneath rocks of stone age and are more than willing to call the entire nation to begin from scratch. It is to be noted that The Law Commission of India, while making its 172nd Report on Review of Rape Laws did not recommend criminalization of marital rape by amending the exception to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code. The government is referring to this instance to make it obvious that they are not considering any proposal to bring any amendment to the IPC regarding marital rapes.

Government's point of view:

1. While replying to a written question of DMK MP Kanimozhi in Rajya Sabha, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said, "It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors, including level of education, illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament."

2. Section 375 of IPC states "Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape." And that doesn't come as a surprise because we Indians are used to blaming women in any rape case, forget the woman being legally bound to give in to the desires of man; sadly that is what marriage in India is all about.

3. There will be loopholes in this case if marital rapes are criminalized. And there is no denying that the law would be misused by cunning women wanting to exercise complete authority over the man's life. It would be like either you give her what she wants or she will go out crying rape with all the evidences enough to get you behind bars till you get bald.

4. Separation and divorce laws are already there to help a woman out of the misery of sharing space with a man who hurts her in any way. If a man is abusing her in any way and the woman continues cooking for him and doing household at his place, it is determined to encourage his evil ideas. Leave him immediately and file divorce case against him. Sec 376B of IPC states that a man can be jailed for 7 years if he rapes his wife during judicial separation

5. False charges have destroyed lives of many who got tired of fighting case even when they were innocent and ended up suicidal. Last year most of the rape charges were false accusations with intentions of defamation.

6. The woman still has the right to take a stand if she is sexually harassed by her husband. Under the domestic violence act, a wife gets civil protection against forced sex by husband on grounds of cruelty.

Humanity's point of view:

1. Married or not, from husband or a stranger, human rights are to be protected in any case. A wife is not an object to be treated as a man seems fit to be contended. She has rights to make sure that the man who assaulted her gets punished. Without firm law against marital rape, the government is implying that the woman should ensure the pain and then simply go out for divorce. What happened to getting the culprit punished?

2. In a country like ours where child marriage is yet to be abolished from roots and where young girls are forced into arranged marriages, we are hesitant of criminalising marital rape. When our ministers say they marriage holds greater value in Indian culture, they do forget that forced marriages happen in most rural areas of our country. And then they want the girl to not even complains is she forced to have sex with the man.

3. We in India are yet to accept that marital rapes happen and the woman is equally traumatized as a unmarried girl would. The government seems to be justifying rape in a way similar to how Mukesh Singh justified their act in the documentary. This would encourage ruthless men to believe that they are the masters of the women they marry and she is nothing more than a sex slave to him. Who said sadism is an old story when we are legally giving men enforceable right over his wife?

4. The minister justifies that marriage is a sacrament in India and hence we cannot bring in the term marital rape. Is he trying to say that marriage is a license to sex and if the girl does not consent, the husband has the license to rape also? Laws being misused to file false accusations happen even in dowry and other rape cases. Is he going to to abolish these laws soon too? Yes, there will be false accusations but we cannot ignore the real ones for them.

5. An old practice that was sheer injustice to women had it that the rapist would have to marry the victim to protect her honour. This day we are sensible enough to disapprove of this orthodox practice but then how are we expecting a woman to live with a rapist whom she is married to?

6. On February 18, 2015, the Supreme Court refused to consider a woman’s plea because the law does not permit yet. A Delhi-based MNC executive had told the court that her husband had repeatedly raped her, shoved a torch light down her vagina and subjected her to dowry harassment. But of course, our system does not consider marital rape was a crime and her husband’s acts were considered an offence similar to physical violence.


The Justice Verma Committee had recommended amending the earlier law which doesn't consider marital rape as a crime. Their report read: "Under the Indian Penal Code sexual intercourse without consent is prohibited. However, an exception to the offence of rape exists in relation to un- consented sexual intercourse by a husband upon a wife. The Committee recommended that the exception to marital rape should be removed. Marriage should not be considered as an irrevocable consent to sexual acts." This is not too much to ask for. Married or not, a woman should be protected by law to have her consent before a man can have sex with her. Most of the developed countries have criminalized marital rape but India is still lagging behind along with China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
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  • RE: Is the government right in decriminalizing marital rape? -Raj kumar (05/02/15)
  • marital rape should be made a criminal offence but in neutral way because there are so many cases in which women are harassing men too. Last week there was a news in media in which a boy was raped several times by his friend'mom but still police has not arrested the woman. Definitely, she will get away due to lack of a neutral law.
    Today dowry law & rape law made in India to protect women, are the most abusive & misused laws in the world. Last year 90% registered cases under these laws are false. The most important point we are forgetting that under these laws women(victim's mother, sisters& sister-in-laws) too are also getting harassed.
    So my fundamental point is "make a law but it should not gender biased" after all we living in 21st century where women are getting equal opportunities as men.
    Its so unfortunate that due to these gender biased laws every year lakhs of people dying unnatural death.