Marital Rape in India

Section 375 of Indian Penal code under Family Law defines rape as a criminal offence wherein a man/boy makes se, xual intercourse/contact with a woman/girl forcibly without her permission or will by enforcing pressure, threats, violence, abuses, molestation, etc… Irrespective of attaining the age of majors or being in the minors, a rape is termed as a criminal offence in the eyes of law. 

Marital Rape

Marital Rape or Rape in Marriage or Spousal Rape refers to unwanted and non- consent se, xual intercourse by a man with his wife wherein the man dominates, pressurizes and threatens her subjecting with physical violence, force, fear generations, etc…  Marital rape is a non consensual act of violent perversion undertaken by a husband against his spouse. 

Key constituents of Marital Rape

Marital Rape is termed as a rape in marriage where the husband forcibly undergoes se, xual intercourse with his wife against her will and consent. The following are the key constituents of marital rape:
  • Forced se, xual activity including intercourse, anal se, x, oral s, ex, forced se, x or any physical activity that leaves the victim in a painful state. 
  • In a situation where in a woman is asleep or unconscious. 
  • Subject the victim to domestic violence, physical abuse, force, threat, etc…

Legal Position of Marital Law under the Indian law

Section 375 of Indian Penal Code identifies rape as a criminal offence and subjects the accused for being punished in the eyes of law. However, Section 376 of Indian Penal Code has defined Marital Rape in an altogether different position. 

As per the section, the accused (rapist) will be punished for a term imprisonment that will be not less than tenure of seven years. Also it may get extended to a life imprisonment or the term can get extended to ten years. Also, the accused will be penalized for the fine. In case the victim is his wife and is above 12 years of age then the accused will be punished with a term imprisonment that can get extended to two years or fine or can be punished with both. 

Ironically the Law Commission of India does not consider Marital Rape as a criminal offence. Moreover, in the year 2005, the act passed for the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 did not consider or subject Marital Rape as a criminal offence instead it was termed as a form of domestic violence. However, under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the woman who has been a victim of marital Rape can approach the court for getting a legal separation from the husband. 

Approaching legal assistance

In case the police fail to file a report against marital rape, one can readily seek help from a Family lawyer or Litigation Lawyer or legal consultant in order to strengthen ones case. Moreover, apart from this, one can readily take online legal help in case you prefer to maintain anonymity. With a strong legal network PAN India, women can seek redressal mechanism in any part of India irrespective of being in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Goa, Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Gurgaon, Noida, etc… 

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Recent Judgment

Sudha Mishra vs. Surya Chandra Mishra( R.F.A 299 of 2014

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The Lok Sabha or the lower house of Parliament passed the 122nd Constitutional Amendment (GST) Bill, which was earlier modified and passed by the Rajya Sabha.  


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