Forced sex a crime even in marriage, observes Delhi High Court
Sexual intercourse with the use of force is criminal even in marriage, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday observed, citing a judgement of the Philippines Supreme Court. The High Court is hearing petitions that seek directions to criminalise marital rape, something the Centre is opposed to.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar asked petitioners’ counsel Collin Gonsalves to refer to the “beautifully-illustrated” judgement as it might help during arguments.
On Tuesday, the Centre had said before the court that marital rape cannot be made a criminal offence as it could have a destabilising effect on the institution of marriage, and become an easy tool for harassing husbands. The Centre had also sought that state governments be made party to the case to know their opinion and avoid any complication at a later stage. Gonsalves said, “There is no rational for differentiating between marital rape and non-marital rape.
The rational traditionally given is based upon archaic notions about consent and property rights incidental to marriage that are unable to withstand even elementary scrutiny”.
He read out judgements from the European Union, the United States and Nepal while advancing the final arguments in a plea that seeks criminalising marital rape …read more