MARITAL RAPES AND FELONY ASSAULTS.
Marital rape refers to a rape of a woman by her husband. It is a form of sexual abuse or sexual violence. Reading the latter words, we might think that these rapes may also be regarded illegal like the other rapes under IPC : 375. But this rape is legal in India and no such constitutional laws have been made in this regard.
Now, the statistics say that in India 40% of rapes are committed by a husband rather than a stranger which is considerably a very high percentage. But even after reigning rapes and molestation, our government has still not made the slightest comfortable change for the victims. Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development quotes that, “Marital rape, cannot apply in India because of factors like illiteracy, poverty, social customs, religious beliefs and sanctity of marriage”.
Cuberon co-founder ABHISHEK GATTANI assaulted his wife for 10 years and when reported, gets off with jail time of just 30 days. The conclusion of Gattani’s charge was downgraded from felony assault to “MISDEMEANOR offensive touching”.His wife quotes : “offensive touching!!! Please explain me is it offensive touching when a 8 month pregnant woman is beaten and then forced to stand for entire night by her husband..”.
Another case reported demonstrated how irresponsibly did the police handle the issue of sexual violence: “GHAR KA MAMMLA HAI. GHAR MAI LIPTA DO” and the victim was sent home back to her husband.
The question that triggers the mind of victims is : “Can’t a married woman ask justice for the sexual abuse and assault inflicted by her husband on her?” There is no religious belief and no social norms which regard rape as legal even when it is committed by a husband”. Under IPC: 377 , any unnatural offence will be sentenced to life imprisonment or jail up to 10 years. But marital rapes have no mention in this code too. Although these rapes have high percentage but still these are reported only up to 1%. The reason behind this is the inability of police to take charge against the man and inclination of woman towards this harmful wifely duty.
50 states in US have regarded these rapes illegal but our country is still lagging behind. Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director Human Rights Watch quotes “Marital rapes one of the most under reported crime, because women will regard this as an unpleasant part of their marital duties”.
In 2015, a woman allegedly raped by her husband went to demand justice in SC. But she was denied justice and the man was never prosecuted.
Solution to this issue lies in the hands of the modern day women bounded with ages old customs and our law makers. Media is the catalyst of the society. The more we talk, the more we change. Our country NEEDS a law so as to state MARITAL RAPE a crime legally in the constitution.
AMENDMENT IN LAWS IS AN IMPORTANT PARAMETER OF BETTER INDIA.