oppn parties Marital Rape: The Government Has To Junk Its Regressive Mindset

News Snippets

  • In a first, the Supreme Court recognizes marital rape, although for the limited purpose of allowing married women the right of abortion up to 24 weeks if they conceived as a result of forced sex by their husbands
  • Air India cuts discounts on base fare to students and senior citizens from 50% to 25%
  • Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijay Singh are being touted as frontrunners to take on Shashi Tharoor in the elections for the post of Congress president
  • Sonia Gandhi will decide who will be Rajasthan CM if she feels there is a need to change guard after the near-rebellion by MLAs in the state
  • Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the race for being Congress president after meeting Sonia Gandhi
  • India has moved to the 40th spot in the innovation index, up 6 spots from last year
  • DGGI has alleged that top insurance companies, banks and NBFCs has committed a fraud of Rs 800cr by claiming input tax credit without underlying supplies
  • The Centre will borrow Rs 10000cr less than planned earlier due to good revenue collections
  • At $23.9bn, India's current account deficit widened to 2.8% in Q1, the worst in four years
  • Stocks continue to flounder on Thursday: Sensex sheds 188 points to 56409 and Nifty 40 points to 16818
  • The 36th National Games were declared open on Thusrday by PM Modi in front of a record crowd in Motera near Ahmedabad
  • Jasprit Bumrah most likely to miss T20 World Cup due to recurrence of back injury
  • PFI's political wing, the SDPI is on EC radar and action will follow soon if discrepancies are detected
  • Ashok Gehlot to meet Sonia Gandhi today, says all issues will be sorted out soon
  • Referring to the PFI ban, most Muslim organizations ask the government to take similar action against right wings organizations like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and the like
In a landmark order, Supreme Court rules that all women, married or unmarried, are entitled to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy as per the MTP Act
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Marital Rape: The Government Has To Junk Its Regressive Mindset

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2022-01-12 13:49:44

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

What happens if a husband has sexual intercourse with his wife against her wishes? It is rape, if the real meaning of rape is adhered to, for no means no even if it from one's wife. But in our patriarchal society and as per our laws, marital rape is not considered a crime and a husband is free to 'rape' his wife as and when he wants.

But the Delhi High Court has now asked a pertinent question in this regard. It said that it is at a loss as to how the dignity of a married woman is not affected in the same way as an unmarried woman if a man, even if he is her husband, imposes himself on her. The High Court said that "relationship can't put the offence on a different pedestal."

This is in direct contrast to what a judge on the same bench had observed in the same case only yesterday. In his preliminary remarks, Justice C Hari Shankar had said yesterday that the protection given to husbands from being booked for rape under the IPC may have to do with the "qualitative difference" between marital and non-marital relationships.

But the bench put it succinctly today when it said that the exception for husbands in section 375 of the IPC is essentially "a firewall and we are testing it". It added that "a woman doesn't lose the right to say no just because she is married".

The issue of marital rape is hanging fire for long. A solution will not be found unless the government discards the primitive, regressive and patriarchal thinking and affords dignity to women by allowing them the right to say no to their husbands by amending section 375 and removing the exception granted to husbands. For, courts can only interpret the laws - they cannot make them.