Rape is a Rape, whether terminated prior to marriage or afterwards. India don’t have adequate laws to defend women from rape at unquestionable period of her existence i.e the span of her marriage. Judiciary as well as our society need to realise that consent plays a significant role for women to live independently in the society. Paradoxically, married women should have the right to give consent to her spouse before indulging physically with him. Nevertheless, we don’t have an ample of laws concerning this offence so that the women’s could live freely and independently. Marital Rape ought to be scrutinized as a rape under the Indian Penal Code and the convicts should be punished for this heinous offence.
In India, there are no distinct provisions for Marital rape due to which no punishment is stated to the convict. Countries like Armenia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Russia and many more have considered it as an offence and have specific laws for this crime. Implementing laws for this offence is the need of the hour so that the marital rape is considered as a crime and the convict get penalized for this heinous crime.
Section 375 of the Indian penal Code notifies about “Rape”, which is an illegal offence if it occurs under all the provisions listed in the section. Neverthless, the exception stated the lacunae in law mentioned in the section. It affirms that the sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife is not rape, if the wife is above 15 years of age. The Exception stated above should be omitted and rejuvenate with a new one where “consent”, drawn in marriage should be bestowed in this section. The sexual intercourse by a man without his wife’s consent should be scrutinized as rape and have determined punishment for the same. It clearly shapes the incarnation of equality among individuals. Rape is contemplated only when the women in the marriage is minor. She can file a report during the span of 365 days of the crime commited to her. What if the minor woman was not competent enough to complain within the specified amount of tempo? Should time restriction be a boundary for registering a crime enacted to her? Though committee headed by Justice Verma advocated that Marital rape should be an offence in the mentioned section. Though the apex court ruled that Martial rape is not a crime as it would destabilise the marriage in our country and women’s can embezzle it as some of them did unseasonably of Section 498(A) of Indian Penal Code. Nonetheless all are vague responses for not shutting out the exception of this section and affixing Marital Rape to it. The Section 375 of the Indian penal Code mounting midway of the pavement to justice for the women of our community.
GROUNDS ON WHICH THE LAW IS BEING AMENDED
Courts are flooded with catena of petitions challenging the legality of the marital rape. It infringes fundamental rights embalm in the constitution of India . This provision breaches article 14 and 21 of the constitution of India. Article 14 states that “State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.” Right to equality is the first fundamental right assured to the people of India. Section 375 ; exception 2 of IPC is an arbitrary provision which immunizes a man if he sexually assaulted her better half that clearly shows a discrimination between a married and unmarried girl. In the E.P Royappa v. state of T.N the apex court observed that arbitrariness is the very antithesis of equality.
Moreover, Exception 2 violates Article 21 of the constitution which gurantees that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.” Thus gurantees everyone to live with dignity. and rape is the violation of this right to live with dignity for women. There are plethora of cases and acts which provide protection for women and tried to bridge the gap of gender equity . In Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan where the Supreme Court gurantees the protection of women from sexual harassment at workplace. As per current law which are in force it is conceptualised that a girl is presumed to be consented for sexual intercourse with her husband after entering into marital relation. Thus this Exception 2 to 375 of IPC is viscious in nature and it should be struck down.
Getting sexually assaulted is a truly nightmare for the one who experiences it. It distort the bodily image. It not only causes bodily injury but also it has intimidating effect which further leads to increased stress, anxiety, suicide etc. The Exception 2 to Section 375 panders to the lascivious appetite of men who consider their wives to be a chattel by the sheer magnitude of physical or financial prowess. This provision only inflames lecherous craze of men. Immediate steps are called for ameliorating their lot by abolishing such discriminatory and arbitrary law and ensuring no such injustice to women in future.