Marital Rape: Sanctioned by Law and Society?

  • Palakdeep Kaur and Bharti Kumari
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  • Palakdeep Kaur

    Student at Army Institute of Law, Mohali, India

  • Bharti Kumari

    Student at Army Institute of Law, Mohali, India

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“Her friends used to tell her it wasn't rape if the man was your husband. She didn't say anything, but inside she seethed; she wanted to take a knife to their faces.” - F. H. Batacan Rape codified in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (“IPC”) includes all forms of sexual assault which involve non-consensual intercourse with a woman. Exception 2 to Section 375 exempts forceful and unwilling sexual intercourse between a husband and a wife over fifteen years of age from the definition of “rape”, thus providing legal immunity to marital rape. The Law assumes the wife as the property of the husband. The unwilling physical contact is a violation of various constitutional rights of women which includes Article 14 and Article 21. Almost every country in the world has certain laws regarding marital rape except 36 countries which also include India. There are several cases filed in different courts of India to provide legal recognition to Marital Rape and challenging the constitutionality of the exception to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code. The author will be critically analyzing the constitutionality of exception 2 and will be discussing the necessity to criminalize marital rape. The paper is an attempt by the author to expose the discrimination and fallacies of the system in India regarding marital rape. The paper contains certain suggestions and some legal reforms that are essential to achieve the objective to criminalize marital rape and provide humane conditions to the wife.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 4, Page 2437 - 2447


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