Criminalising marital rape will destabilise marriage, says Centre

New Delhi: Once again declaring its stance on the controversial subject of marital rape, the Centre saiod to the Delhi High Court that “criminalising it may destabilise the institution of marriage, apart from being an easy tool for harassing the husbands”.

Centre while submitting before the HC also went on to disclose that criminalisation of marital rape could become a phenomenon too.

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Point to be noted here is that the Centre, in an affidavit filed in reaction to pleas seeking criminalising marital rape, said the SC and number of High Courts have already observed the growing misuse of section 498A (harassment caused to a married woman by her husband and in-laws) of IPC.

The reply, also sought to implead state governments with regard to their view in order to avoid any complication at a later stage. “It has to be ensured adequately that marital rape does not become a phenomenon which may destabilise the institution of marriage apart from being an easy tool for harassing the husbands,” the affidavit, filed through central government standing counsel Monika Arora, said.

The government reacting to number of petitions seeking declaration of Section 375 (offence of rape) of the IPC as unconstitutional on the ground that it discriminated against married women being sexually assaulted by their husbands.

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“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 criminalisation is taken,” it said.

“Moral and social awareness” plays a vital role in stopping such an act, it added. “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,” the affidavit read.


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