1. Marital rape: Centre’s stand in Delhi High Court sparks big debate on social media

Marital rape: Centre’s stand in Delhi High Court sparks big debate on social media

Marital rape: Government of India's firm stand against making marital rape a criminal offence has sparked debate on social media.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: August 30, 2017 4:36 PM
marital rape, marital rape debate, marital rape centre, centre's stand on marital rape, marital rape social media, delhi high court, marital rape ban Centre says Marital rape shouldn’t be criminalised. (IE)

Marital rape: Government of India’s firm stand against making marital rape a criminal offence has sparked debate on social media. On Tuesday, the Centre in its submission to Delhi High Court said marital rape is not defined in any statue, while rape is defined under Section 375 of IPC. It said, “Defining marital rape would call for a broad based consensus of the society.” The Centre argued, “What may appear to be marital rape to an individual wife, it may not appear so to others. As to what constitutes marital rape and what would constitute marital non-rape needs to be defined precisely before a view on its criminalization is taken.”

The Centre’s submission further said, “That it has to been ensured adequately that marital rape does not become a phenomenon which may destabilize the institution of marriage apart from being an easy tool for harassing the husbands. Quoting the misuse of section 498A of IPC observed by courts, the Centre’s sumbission said it needs to be “ensured adequately that marital rape does not become a phenomenon which may destabilize the institution of marriage apart from being an easy tool for harassing the husbands.”

“If all sexual acts by a man with his own wife will qualify to be marital rape, then the judgment as to whether it is a marital rape or not will singularly rest with the wife. The question is what evidences the Courts will rely upon in such circumstances as there can be no lasting evidence in case of sexual acts between a man and his own wife,” it added.

Centre’s submission has divided social media usersas divergent opinions have come up. Swaraj Kaushal, Supreme Court lawyer, former governor and husband of Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday tweeted, “There will be more husbands in the jail, than in the house”. When a user asked if he was defending marital rape, Kaushal replied, “There is nothing like marital rape. Our homes should not become police stations”. Journalist and writer Rana Ayyub commented on Swaraj’s stand, saying, “Ex governor and husband of MEA sushma swaraj defends marital rape. So don’t rejoice yet over sending godmen to jail.”

Celebrated author Devdutt Pattanaik, however, believes marital rape should be declared unconstitutional. “Now that we have finally declared triple talaq unconstitutional, will we please declare marital rape & homophobia to be unconstitutional?,” he tweeted. Senior journalist Nidhi Rajdan said, “India can learn something from its neighbours. Nepal has laws against marital rape, so does Bhutan.” In another tweet, she argues, “So the govt is saying it’s ok to be raped once you’re married. It’s ok for husbands to rape wives? Wives can’t say no? Pathetic logic.”

However, Madhavan Narayanan, journalist and writer, tweeted, “There is reckless lobbying by activists on #MaritalRape. Out of context statements and poor understanding of first principles.” Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nundy, tweeted, “At marital rape constitutionality hearing today: *Govt now supports marital rape exception. In writing. * Another MRA popped up. Tomorrow.”

Maya Mirchandani, Senior Fellow at ORF, says, “It’s (Centre’s) commitment to gender justice seems restricted to abolishing #Tripletalaq. Marital rape/dowry deaths almost never mentioned. Why?”

Here is how some social media users reacted to Centre’s stand on Marital rape:

The Centre had also argued that India doesn’t need to follow countries where marital rape has been criminalised. “That the fact that other countries, mostly western, have criminalized marital rape does not necessarily mean India should also follow them blindly. This country has its own unique problems due to various factors like literacy, lack of financial empowerment of the majority of females, mindset of the society, vast diversity, poverty, etc. and these should be considered carefully before criminalizing marital rape.”

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  1. P
    Aug 31, 2017 at 3:13 am
    Government seems to be doing the right thing here. There are already two dangerous laws which are in favour of women with high abuse potential. 1. Dowry act is in news for heavy abuse by married women to get back at their in laws. 2. Nirbhaya act is being used as a blackmail tool to extort money from gullible young men by organised gangs. We all know the fate of once-jailed men in the society. A marital-rape law would have the highest potential for abuse by far owing to its arbitrary nature. A woman can simply decide to teach her husband a 'lesson' by filing a false rape complaint. Those s who compare this to triple talaq should look at their own faces in the mirror.
    1. R
      Aug 31, 2017 at 12:20 am
      Govt is saying right here. marital rape should not be criminalized. we do not need to follow other countries in each and everything.
      1. Muralli Ramman
        Aug 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm
        Instead of Marital Rape, just abolish the ins ution of marriage and nullify all marriages. Then there will be only Consensual and Rape(non consensual). Everybody will have their own rights and nobody will be slaves. Let everyone be independent and survive themselves. Problem solved
        1. t c Jain
          Aug 30, 2017 at 2:57 pm
          laws need to be changed as per requirement of social structure...laws related to marital rape need to be changed i.e. divorce laws
          1. Ashok Kumar
            Aug 30, 2017 at 2:05 pm
            When will this bloody ic judiciary stop meddling in -related issues unnecessarily. The reason, to my way, is that judiciary is obsessed with for being deprived of it on account of 'morality' they thrust upon themselves. They are trying to catch up elusive 'morality', but end with every time with hard-core uality.
            1. R
              Aug 30, 2017 at 1:51 pm
              First the society in general has to accept that women too derive pleasure from ual intercourse. Marital rape is hard to describe because at some point both partners may not be ready to engage in ual act. Both partners have to adjust in order to stay together. It is wrong to judge that men are always ready for either. Should a man buy a necklace for wife and wife lovingly engage in ual act be also considered similar to payment to a ? Marietal relations are complex itself and rape should be kept out of that as both partners have already committed to legitimate while marriage... Though remaining silent on the matter.
              1. k
                Aug 30, 2017 at 1:51 pm
                1. Xavier Alexander
                  Aug 30, 2017 at 1:47 pm
                  There are about 2 lakh 498a cases being filed in India. Of this conviction rate is about 13 . About 10 is proved false cases. The rest are aquittals because of false cases or for lack of evidence. Now, even if we take half of the acquittals as false cases, even then a whopping 1 lakh men are subjected to false cases by their wives which could land the men in jails for upto 3 years. If violence during ual acts in marriage is given a different name as 'marital rape' and if it attracts a penalty of 7 years jail, then all these 498A false cases would be filedas marital rape cases, since for the woman, it is better to have the husband over over the dock with threat of 7 years imprisonment than a threat of 3 year imprisonment by filing 498A, for her purpose of blackmail. In India where woman have been known to blatantly misuse woman favouring laws which do not have any penal clause for misuse, criminalising violence during ual union termed as 'marital rape' is a regressive step
                  1. R
                    rajesh verma
                    Aug 30, 2017 at 1:45 pm
                    So I should take videographed consent from my wife before making love to her.
                    1. N
                      Aug 30, 2017 at 1:26 pm
                      Do give the right to the wife to say no, very much. However don't use word rape within marriage. It will dilute the heinous nature of the crime of rape. Call it domestic violence. Also, if the wife has a right to say no as much as she wants then please also give right to the man to have more than one wife, at least one wife would not want to say no !!!
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