Consequences of Non-Criminalization of Marital Rape and Stealthing in 21st Century India

  • Pooja Narayan
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  • Pooja Narayan

    Research Scholar at Teerthankar Mahaveer University, India

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Time and again society has proved that the saying, “The change is only constant”, is actually not true because women are still treated exactly the way they were treated some 100 of years ago. The crime against women is ever increasing and there lies hesitance in taking bold actions to curb them. Women being subjected to sexual violence is nothing new, it was prevalent in the society which lacked definite laws and punishments and is still very much here in the society with strict rules and punishments. In ancient time rape of a woman was considered as a crime against the property of husband or father and not on the integrity of that woman. Today there are laws which punishes rape and other kinds of sexual offences as an offence against women but are we really free from the mindset of women being a property which can be used as according to the will of a man? The answer to this can be found in the rising no. of cases of sexual nature which has overburdened our courts. Section 375 of Indian Penal Code provides the definition of rape which states that a man is said to commit rape if he commits the act without consent and against will, even explanation 2 of the said section defines what is consent. So, at this juncture will it be wrong to say that the society somehow still does not understand the meaning of consent? The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has in the case of Joseph Shine v. Union of India, categorically stated that ‘Husband is not the master of Wife’. But if look into the existence of marital rape and stealthing, which are still not recognized as an offence, is it not that husband is considered as a master in reality? Indian Penal Code very clearly state that the sexual act without consent and against will is rape, then why these provisions become dilute when the woman is married and perpetrator is her husband?


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 5, Page 1365 - 1378


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