The issue of marital rape needs more discussion: Delhi High Court

The issue of marital rape needs more discussion: Delhi High Court

Recently, the Center sought time from the Delhi High Court (HC) saying that there is a need for more consultations on the issue of marital rape.

Marital Rape in India:

  • In India, marital rape is not defined in any statute or law.
  • Section 375A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) defines rape. It states that coercive sexual intercourse by a man with his wife is not rape, unless the age of the wife is less than 15 years. In the year 2017, the Supreme Court had raised this age limit to 18 years.
  • It is based on the assumption that once the marriage has taken place it is assumed that the woman has agreed to such a relationship. This consent is constant as long as the marriage is in existence.

How does it affect women?

  • According to the National Family Health Survey-4, 5.4% of India’s women reported that they were forced to have sex by their husbands.
  • This creates adverse and long-term consequences for the health and well-being of women and children. These include injuries, unwanted pregnancies, poor mental health, etc.
  • In 2013, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that marital rape be declared a crime by the Indian government.
  • It was also recommended by the JS Verma committee formed after the Nirbhaya case.
  • In the year 2021, in a landmark judgment, the Kerala HC recognized marital rape as a ground for divorce.

Source – The Hindu

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