Marital Rape Law in India

By Kartavi Satyarthi, National Law University, Jodhpur.

…… Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution…..”

~ British philosopher and political activist Bertrand Russell

Rape per se is an offence against women, violating her dignity and self-respect and when it occurs within the four-walls of a matrimonial home, it reduces the woman to the status of an object used merely for sexual gratification. Marital rape is possibly the worst form of offence that can be perpetrated on the body of a person as it scars the very soul of a person’s existence when the victim is supposed to live and lead a life with the perpetrator. Marital rape stems from the very root of sexual discrimination and gender bias. It is based on the notion that women are supposed to be subdued and submissive under the influence of men. Once married, a woman’s autonomy over everything she owns, including her body, transfers to her male partner, in the same way as all rights of use and enjoyment of property is transferred with the sale of an object. (more…)

Marital Rape: The Indian Scenario

By Aparna Menon, Government Law College, Mumbai.

Marital rape, a contemporary term which means sexual perversion extended by the husband on to his wife without her consent in the due course of their legal marriage. It is non consensual intercourse obtained by the man with his wife through force, threat of force, violence in case of absence of consent of the spouse. This is a battering/sadistic or an obsessive form of sex which propagates masochistic ideas in the society and marital rape is one of those forms which has been evading the Indian Penal Code and hence, is not punishable. (more…)

Capital Punishment: Justice or Revenge?

By Bhanu Chopra, Government Law College, Mumbai.

“The penalty of death differs from all other forms of criminal punishment, not in degree but in kind. It is unique in its total irrevocability. It is unique in its rejection of rehabilitation of the convict as a basic purpose of criminal justice. And it is unique, finally, in its absolute renunciation of all that is embodied in our concept of humanity.”[1] (more…)

Orchestra of “Women Apathy”

By Debayan Roy, Legal Practitioner, Law Graduate (AKK New Law Academy- 2009-2014).

As the ‘nukkad natak’ of government officials continued, Leslee Udwin’s riveting tale of a girl shredded into pieces of mortified horror received a standing ovation at New York. Is it just the West who celebrates every form of creativity throttled within India or is it our common human conscience which silently celebrates too? The ludicrous façade of reasons exemplarily highlighted by our ‘Security Guards’ to prohibit the screening of the documentary certainly calls for a debate. The ‘December Gang Rape’ was as much as an important event in Indian History compared to the breakthrough in the Indo-US Nuclear Deal. (more…)

Rohtak Gang Rape: Beyond the Outrage and the Law

By Aishwarya Dhakarey, Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

Being disabled should not mean being disqualified from having access to every aspect of life.

-Emma Thompson

We all have read about incidents wherein a woman after being raped turned into a schizophrenic or developed some mental abnormality. What about victims who were already suffering from some mental ailment? Anything worse that could happen to them?

The maimed body of a twenty eight year old mentally challenged Nepalese woman residing in Rohtak was found dumped in the Rohtak-Hisar Highway in the wee hours of February 4. The heartrending account of her gang rape which lasted for three hours was picked up in the newspapers the next day. The nation was shocked yet again. This blood-curdling incident has once again raised an incessant demand for justice and equity. (more…)