4 min read.Updated: 24 Jan 2022, 10:40 PM ISTSreeparna Chattopadhyay
For justice to prevail in India, marriage must no longer be allowed to act as a cover for sexual violations
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The Delhi high court is hearing whether the marriage exception to Section 375 (Exception 2) of the Indian Penal Code should be struck down, so that married women would have legal recourse if they are coerced into sexual intercourse by their husbands. The legal position and that of the Centre has been that once a woman is married, consent is presumed and continuous for the duration of the marriage, implying that consent does not need to be negotiated before each marital sexual encounter. The recent round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) indicates that over 24% of Indian women report facing either domestic or sexual violence; this is likely to be an underestimate, given that much of it goes unreported.