The Various Facets of Criminalization of Marital Rape

  • Shefali
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  • Shefali

    Student at University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.

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The institution of marriage is one of the building blocks of our society, unifying a man and a woman into a sacred and sacrosanct relationship. In a marriage, the husband and wife are expected to sail the ship of life together, standing by each other’s side and cooperating in social, financial and emotional matters. Sexual intercourse, as a man’s basic need, and also as a means for procreation of children, is one of the primary expectations of the partners entering into a union of marriage. It has been an often raised question that whether the husband and wife are expected, at all times, to give into this expectation of fulfilling the role of a sexual partner and that their consent does not matter, given they’re perceived as one entity or whether the concept of individual autonomy transcends into the institution of marriage as well? This article deals with the complex issues arising out of the subtle nuances of marital relationships i.e. balancing individual autonomy vis-à-vis maintaining harmonious marital relationship. It puts forth the effect of exception of marital rape, provided under the IPC, on the indispensable right to life and personal liberty and other rights flowing from Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, like the right to sexual autonomy and right to privacy. Moving along, it takes note of the relevance of consent in the context of a marital relationship. Further, it takes into consideration and addresses the fears and apprehensions of supporters of the marital rape exception, like breaking down of the institution of marriage and creation of a new offence. And lastly, it deals with the effects of criminalization of marital rape.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 5, Page 82 - 86


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