Marital Rape Concept Not Applicable in India – Rajya Sabha


The issue of Marital Rape has been raised in Rajya Sabha of Indian parliament on Wednesday by DMK MP Kanimozhi but government said that the concept cannot be applied in India where marriage is considered as a “sacrament” and there is no proposal to make it a criminal offence in India.  “It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors, including level of education, illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament, etc,” Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said

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“The Law Commission of India, while making its 172nd Report on Review of Rape Laws did not recommend criminalization of marital rape by amending the exception to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code and hence presently there is no proposal to bring any amendment to the IPC in this regard,” Chaudhary was replying to the question of Kanimozhi who asked whether Government will bring a bill to amend the IPC to remove the exception of marital rape from the definition of rape; and whether it is a fact that UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against women has recommended to India to criminalize marital rape.

Kanimozhi had also enlighten the house on the subject of marital rape saying that 75 per cent of the married women in India were subjected to marital rape and whether indian government is doing anything concrete to take the cognizance of this fact?  Chaudhary said the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Women and Child Development have reported that UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women has recommended to India to criminalize marital rape.

It may be recalled that Justice J S Verma Committee set up as a result of the Delhi gang-rape incident to suggest changes in the criminal law had recommended that the exception for marital rape be removed from the Indian Penal Code (IPC). “The fact that the accused and victim are married or in another intimate relationship may not be regarded as a mitigating factor justifying lower sentences for rape,” the Verma Committee had said. However, the government did not accept the recommendation.

The decision of the exemption of marital rape is been opposed by the women’s group but government is stiff on their view.  The Parliamentary standing committee on Home in its report on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012 agreed with the view of the Home ministry that criminalizing marital rape would weaken traditional family values in India, and that marriage presumes consent. And it would also lead to the “practical difficulties”

Source: Press Trust of India 

Goa Prism First Published on Thursday, April 30, 2015

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