Applying marital rape in Indian context is not easy: NDA Government

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Marriage in India is considered as a sacred thing and so issue of marital rape cannot be put in place in India. If we look at the Indian societies’ mind set, was the contentions of the NDA government even though there was a huge international pressure on this issue, the government is not ready to take make marital rape a crime. On Wednesday, Home Ministry said that the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women has asked India about criminalising marital rape. Government told that how marital rape is understood internationally cannot be used in India. Government has taken into consideration different factions like illiteracy, poverty, level of education, religious beliefs, and social customs, and thus concludes that marriage is so sacrament that criminalising marital rape was not possible was told by Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary while replying to DMK MP Kanimozhi.

Home Ministry was asked by Kanimozhi if government will amend the IPC by bringing a bill to remove the marital rape exception from rape’s definition and if UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination had asked to criminalise marital rape. As per United Nations Population Fund nearly 75% of married ladies in India had been subject to marital rape and if the government knew the fact or not was Kanimozhi’s question. Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary told that Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs have told that UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women had recommended to criminalise marital rape in India. While making 172 report, Law Commission of India regarding a review on Rape Laws had not given any recommendation to criminalise marital rape and did not amend Indian Penal codes Section 375 and Minister further said that there was no proposal at present to bring any changes in IPC.

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Women should get protection from law for any kind of marital rape and all other kinds of sexual assaults in marriage by her husband. Present law does not consider if a man has sexual relationship with his wife who is a major as a rape. Nearly 65% of married men say that forced intimacy is not bad but it is their right to do care even if their wife does not consent to it.

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Sushma Javare.