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Centre argues against making marital rape a crime in Delhi high court

The government says the courts too would find it difficult to rely upon evidence in such circumstances as there could be ‘no lasting evidence in case of sexual acts between a man and his own wife’. Photo: HTPremium
The government says the courts too would find it difficult to rely upon evidence in such circumstances as there could be ‘no lasting evidence in case of sexual acts between a man and his own wife’. Photo: HT

Centre tells Delhi HC marital rape, if recognized as a crime, could 'destabilize the institution of marriage', apart from being an easy tool for harassing husbands

New Delhi: The centre told the Delhi high court on Tuesday that if marital rape is recognized as a crime, it could “destabilize the institution of marriage, apart from being an easy tool for harassing husbands".

The courts too would find it difficult to rely upon evidence in such circumstances as there could be “no lasting evidence in case of sexual acts between a man and his own wife", the government said.

In an affidavit, it urged the court to carefully consider the issue, keeping in mind problems like lack of financial empowerment for a majority of women, the society’s mindset, vast diversity and poverty. It also sought to implead (involve) various state governments on the issue.

The affidavit was filed on a plea by an NGO, RTI Foundation, seeking to strike down the exception under Section 375 (rape) of the IPC which does not penalize sexual intercourse between a man and his wife if she is over 15 years of age.

The petitioners have claimed that such an exception would be against the interest of married women as it is violative of Article 14 (equality under law) and 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.

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