Criminalistion of Marital Rape in India – A Boon or A Bane

Atishya Ghosh
University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun, India

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

Violence in the form of marital rape is the worst kind of torture that a woman goes through during her lifetime. Even after 160 years since the genesis of the Indian Penal Code, there has been absolutely no recognition of sexual offences prevailing under the garb of marriage. In India, husbands consider their wives as their property and in the pretext of marriage overlook the concept of sexual autonomy. Over the past decades, it has become a pressing need to criminalize the offence of marital rape and make women of every Indian household realize the gravity of succumbing to their husbands and resigning to their fate to protect the institution of marriage.

Every woman deserves equal protection under the law and has the right to life and personal liberty as laid down under Article 14 & 21 of the Indian Constitution. Therefore, the government should come out of the shackles of patriarchy and should take due cognizance of the voice of the citizenry. In light of this, this article enumerates the need to criminalize marital rape by carefully analyzing the approach of the judiciary and the reasons for the delay in recognizing it as an offence. In the 21st century, it has become essential for the government to make strict laws to empower women after marriage and uphold the principles of freedom and equality.

Keywords: violence, marital rape, marriage, sexual autonomy, personal liberty, equality.