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IS IT TIME TO INCLUDE MARITAL RAPE INTO THE DOMAIN OF IPC?

'Marriage does not in any way mean acquiring "a sexual slave for a lifetime" Avinash Pandey, our Content Editor talks about Marital Rape in India and proposes some reforms. There is a certain need of contemplating on this issue.'



Marital Rape consists of two terms, Marital refers to "Marriage" & Rape refers to "sexual assault". It is the undesired copulation by a guy with his wife acquired by violence or bodily brutality, when she is helpless to give acquiescence. It is a non-accepted act of intense distortion by a husband against the wife where she is bodily and sexually exploited.

A matrimony is a relation of dependence and of concern. A man practicing intimate supremacy, by making it on order and by any means desirable. Astonishingly, till now we don't have any well-defined law for "Marital Rape" in our constitution yet. it's an immoral act of humans which is totally infringing on the rights of women's accordance to Article 14 and Article 21.

Why should India Criminalize Marital Rape?


It's such an awful position for an innocent woman, where she is continuously sustaining coercive act of rape inside her house without her consent, also she cannot convey the same to her family members due to social stigma nor she can opt for court or police because till date there is no Indian legislation on Marital Rape. It has been observed that in order to gain sexual appetite & sexual lust many women's are burnt or mercilessly beaten which causes huge damage to their psychology.

India does not have any precise or uniform law for marital rape, which makes it a do or die situation for the victim which sometimes leads to death as well. Marriage does not in any way mean acquiring "a sexual slave for a lifetime", rather it is a relationship to create a lifetime bond with a wife, giving her equal status & respect in the society as well as inside the four walls of her matrimonial house. Although, Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code[3] deals with brutality against the women's but it doesn't have any specific provision related to sexual assault.

It is pertinent to note that, Marital rape is unconstitutional in 18 American States, 3 Australian States, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Soviet Union, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Rape is an act of utter mortification, dishonor and assault rather than an outmoded notion of penile/vaginal thrusting. Marital rape is a fierce activity which not only hurts the victim physically but also kills her soul each day. It is a known illegal activity but even then due to the inactive laws, the state of affairs is such that, the India laws are granting freehand opportunity to everyone whosoever desires to commit this act.

Lately, Justice Pardiwala of the Gujarat High Court has lashed out at this horrific act,"Marital rape is not a husband’s privilege, but rather a violent act and an injustice that must be criminalized,”.

Why is India not coming up with a Law on Marital Rape?


India is a liberal nation, but when it comes to critical analysis, sometimes it is very weird to see that we are still straggling behind some of the synchronized laws which are required in order to secure proper equilibrium among both the genders in our nation. We are living in the 21st century where we wish to act as a global leader, by focusing on becoming a developed nation, but without altering the present situation, it is a blot on being called a developing nation as well. As many countries have embraced "Marital laws" in order to safeguard the modesty of a women and also their personal privilege, it is high time that India must also adopt the same.

It is highly unfortunate that today a lot of people assume that India cannot adopt such laws due to various causes such as low literacy rate, destitution, customs, social rituals & conventions, complex sort of spiritual issues predominating in our nation and the like. The most prominent factor is the mental approach which plays the most indispensable character in accepting such laws.

Our Marital rape laws are prejudicial, careless and irrational which creates colossal conflict between our social so-called traditions and the implementation of new laws. Merely because of few irrational consequences, our legislative organization is constantly contradicting to formulate such laws. Two of such widely cited consequences are :- a) Misapplication of laws can be done in Dowry or in any Domestic violence case.b) Such laws can demolish large numbers of marriages instantly.

Suggested Reforms


In order to preserve humanity, Marital rape needs to be criminalized which will definitely deliver a new lesson in our society because merely by calling out for "Women empowerment" will not help as it has to be proved by implementing such stringent laws all over the country.

"Rape is rape, the word MARITAL does not grant any sort of free license to any of the men to play with the modesty of the concerned women". Wedlock is unquestionably an essential tradition, but the intensity of any sort should not be disregarded by an enlightened community.

It has been observed that in many of the cases the police officers have not performed their duty in the manner which they should have, due to which the victims & their families have suffered a lot also. Few instances are when delayed steps are taken due to which the medical evidence is lost and denial to register FIR in order to save time. Whether it is the Legislature or the Executive everyone has to take certain convincing steps in order to prevent this crime as soon as possible otherwise it could create mass problems in coming time & to provide equivalent status to woman's in society as well.

As ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ does not end only until our daughters are provided with education, but goes way beyond than that.

AVINASH PANDEY, 2nd year BBA LLB, IFIM Law College, Bangalore

#MaritalRape #Rape #ForcedSex #Legal #Criminalize #WomenEmpowerment

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