New Delhi: So again, with the Central Government’s blessings, Indian men, are let off the hook and a sensitive issue for women, specially married women, has been dealt a rude blow.
Making marital rape a crime will make husbands vulnerable to their wives, the Central government told the Delhi High Court today in response to a the petitions petitions by women’s organisations who want marital rape to be legally recognized and penalized.
The Centre said in an affidavit that marital rape may become an easy tool for harassing the husband and that there can be no lasting evidence in the case of sexual acts between a man and his own wife. It has argued for status quo, also saying that making criminalising marital rape would “destabilise the institution of marriage”.
Going a step further Swaraj Kaushal, former Governor of Mizoram, senior advocate and husband of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, today tweeted, “There is nothing like marital rape. Our homes should not become police stations…There will be more husbands in the jail, than in the house.”
Women’s organisations have sought that Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, the law that defines rape, should be declared unconstitutional, arguing that it discriminates against married women being sexually assaulted by their husbands. Section 375 has an “exception provision” which states that the rape law will not apply to assault or sexual intercourse by a husband on his wife who is above the age of 15 years. Note! Just 15 years of age… when she is just a minor.
The exception clause in the law was brought by way of an amendment in 2013, as more stringent rape laws were framed months after the brutal gangrape of a medical student in a moving bus on December 16, 2012.
For years, women’s organisations have been demanding that the rape of a woman by a husband be recognized as a criminal act that carries penalties. The High Court had asked the Centre to spell out its stand on the petitions it is hearing. The Centre had earlier this year said it cannot criminalise marital rape as “India has its own unique problems due to uneven literacy, economic and social diversity.”
The government’s view has been endorsed by a parliamentary panel report, which has said that the entire family system will be under great stress if marital rape is brought under law.
The High Court has also agreed to hear a petition by an NGO opposing the plea to make marital rape a criminal offence. The NGO says it represents men who are victims of alleged misuse of gender laws. The petition says a large number of men are “victimised” by women who file “false” cases of rape and domestic violence.
The new petition claims that when a person gets married, he or she gives consent to the spouse to have sex and any such sexual act cannot be termed as rape.
India, according to our govt. wants to side with the most backward and least developed nations on this one it seems. Just see below:
Countries that have made spousal rape a criminal offence
Albania, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, ElSalvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Macedonia, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, The Philippines, Poland, Peru, Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe.
Note, our neigbhours like Sri Lanka – even Pakistan have enacted this law but we are not in agreement.
We prefer to side with these countries:
Countries that have not made spousal rape a criminal offence
Afghanistan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia, Malaysia, India.
Hope the courts now take a more ‘educated’ and humane view on this.