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Marital rape worst sexual violence against women: Petitioners in Delhi High Court

The court was hearing a batch of petitions seeking criminalisation of marital rape.

Published: 08th January 2022 08:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2022 08:02 AM   |  A+A-

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Marital rape is the biggest form of sexual violence against women, the Delhi High Court was told on Friday, even as the Delhi government submitted that this act is already covered as a “crime of cruelty” under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The court was hearing a batch of petitions seeking criminalisation of marital rape.

“Marital rape is the biggest form of sexual violence which happens in the confines of our homes. How many times does rape take place in the institution of marriage and is never reported? This figure is not reported or analysed,” said senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who contended that neither families nor police authorities come to the help of victims.

The PILs were filed by NGOs RIT Foundation, All India Democratic Women’s Association, a man and a woman seeking striking down of the exception granted to husbands under the Indian rape law. Gonsalves, representing the petitioner woman, argued that courts all over the world have recognised marital rape as an offence and abrogated the concept of a wife’s irrevocable consent for establishing sexual relations.

Delhi government lawyer Nandita Rao submitted that married women and unmarried women were placed differently under every law. “Marital rape is a crime of cruelty in India. Married women and unmarried women are different under every single law,” she said. The petitioner NGO has challenged the constitutionality of section 375 IPC on the ground that it discriminated against married women being sexually assaulted by their husbands. 



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