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Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

Concept of marital rape doesn’t apply in India: government

The concept of marital rape can't be applied due to factors, like illiteracy, poverty, religious beliefs and mindset to treat the marriage as a sacrament

New Delhi: The concept of marital rape cannot be applied in India as marriage is treated as a sacrament or sacred as per mindset of the Indian society, the government on Wednesday said.

“It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors, including level of education, illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament," minister of state for home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said.

The minister was replying to a written question of DMK MP Kanimozhi in Rajya Sabha. Kanimozhi had asked the home ministry whether government will bring a bill to amend the IPC to remove the exception of marital rape from the definition of rape; and whether it is a fact that UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against women has recommended to India to criminalise marital rape.

She had also said that according to United Nations Population Fund that 75% of the married women in India were subjected to marital rape and whether government has taken cognisance of the fact.

Chaudhary said the ministry of external affairs and ministry of women and child development have reported that UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women has recommended to India to criminalise marital rape.

“The Law Commission of India, while making its 172nd Report on Review of c did not recommend criminalisation of marital rape by amending the exception to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code and hence presently there is no proposal to bring any amendment to the IPC in this regard," the minister said.

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