Why It’s Still Legal For Indian Men to Rape Their Wives

Rape is the rape of a woman without her desire.  It is a legal offense for which the Indian Penal Code provides for punishment.  But in India, if a husband forcibly makes physical relations with his wife without his consent, then it is not considered a crime.  That is, marital rape or marital rape is outside the purview of legal offenses in India.

 The central government has refused to consider marital rape as a crime and said that doing so would prove a threat to the institution of marriage.

 In fact, the Delhi High Court is disposing of petitions seeking to declare marital rape a crime.  The court asked the central government to present its case in this regard.  In response, the Central Government filed an affidavit that marital rape cannot be made a punishable offense as doing so would prove dangerous for the institution of marriage.  This can become a trend that can become an easy way to harass husbands.

 The central government is of the opinion that in many western countries marital rape is in the category of crime.  But this does not necessarily follow it blindly in India.  The Center also said that Marital Rape will also have to think about all the problems like education, economic condition of women, poverty in the country before declaring it a crime.

 The Supreme Court said in a judgment in 2017 that "rape within a marital relationship will not be counted as a crime".

 At the time, Independent Thought, an NGO, filed a petition to declare Marital Rape a law offense.  A bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta were hearing the case in the Supreme Court.  Even then the central government had said that the government is in support of proviso (exception) 2 of section 375 of IPC.  Exception 2 of Section 375 talks about protecting the dignity of husband, minor wife and their marital relationship.

 In such a situation, the question becomes that what is the difference between 'rape' and 'marital rape' and what is the relation of the institution of marriage to it?

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