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MARITAL RAPE - CRIMINAL OFFENCE OR NOT?

  • Marital Rape can be termed as the act of sexual intercourse with one's spouse without the spouse's consent.
  • It has been widely debated in India because unlike other developed nations, India is yet to criminalize marital rape.
  • It is not easily recognised as an offence, it is assumed by the law that, marriage refers to the wife giving consent to all the “matrimonial obligations” including sexual intercourse.
  • The fact that males have to establish ownership over a woman after marriage makes a married woman more susceptible to being exploited by her husband.
  • The Indian government has argued that marital rape cannot be criminalized because what might seem like rape to the wife may not be rape in the eyes of others.
  • It is inherently wrong and problematic to assure dignity and sexual autonomy to the husband and not the wife.
  • The argument that the act cannot be criminalized to protect the stability of the institution of marriage is baseless and illogical.

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