The Marital Exception to Rape: How to make a Wrongdoing Vanish
By Team Legistify / 2016-03-30
Similar to murder, rape is a reprehensible act that leaves a body defiled. But rape victims are not like murder victims, they live & relive the event. Worse yet, they can never leave the scene of crime.

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Rape, being one of the greatest evil that still exists, women have no stand against this evil, even if it is done by their so-called ‘better halves’ . India’s rape laws, which make an exception for cases where the perpetrator is the husband, has its origins in the common law. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, which defines rapes, makes an exception for marital rape by stating, “Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.”

The grounds for “marital immunity” for rape prosecution were laid by Chief Justice Sir Matthew Hale in The History of the Pleas of the Crown, published in 1736, 60 years after his death. He wrote, “The husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband, which she cannot retract.” Don't stay silent! Take an action now-consult with the best divorce lawyers in India .

What The Law Says

Section 375, the provision of rape in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), has echoing very archaic sentiments, mentioned as its exception clause- “Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape.”

According to the section, the rapist should be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than 7 years but which may extend to life or for a term extending up to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine unless the woman raped is his own wife, and is not under 12 years of age, in which case, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 2 years with fine or with both.

Similar to murder, rape is a reprehensible act that leaves a body defiled. But rape victims are not like murder victims, they live & relive the event. Worse yet, they can never leave the scene of crime.

Have a Legal Issue?

Get connected to the Best Lawyers and Chartered Accountants Near You!


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