<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Marital rape cannot be criminalised in India as it would destabilise the institution of marriage, the Centre told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday.According to latest media reports, the ruling NDA government was responding to a petition filed by an NGO representing men victimised by misuse of the gender laws.According to the affidavit filed in the court, the government said, “Marital rape in India cannot be criminalized as India has its own unique set of problems like literacy, lack of financial empowerment of the majority of females, mindset of the society, vast diversity, poverty, etc.”What lies at the heart of this debate is Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code.The section that defines “rape” and “consent” has a very fine detail that changes how one views rape in the marriages. According to the section, “sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape”.The ruling NDA government that has been appreciated for its pro-women, gender justice approach has always opposed the concept of criminalising marital rape.In 2015, NDA minister Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that, “It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context.”Though the United Nations may have recommended India to criminalise marital rape, the government has never reacted positively on the issue.Coincidentally, on a day when the government was stating its stand on the issue, Supreme Court lawyer and husband of Union Minister Sushma Swaraj was under fire for ‘pro-marital rape’ tweet.In a country where over a lakh women are suffering domestic violence silently, the issue of marital rape is rather very shadowy.Be it societal concern or the taboo of discussing sexual violence in marriage, despite growing voices, nothing concrete has been done in this regard.

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Can’t criminalise marital rape, it will destablise intitution of marriage: Centre to Delhi High Court