The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a woman's plea to consider marital rape a criminal offence on the grounds that she was "espousing a personal cause and not a public cause." That this was "an individual case". The woman's husband had allegedly resorted to sexual violence on many occasions. The judicial authority insisted it was not possible to order a change in the law for one person, Hindustan Times reports.
Yes, it might have been an individual's case, but isn't it also a case for wider consideration?
The woman has claimed that the provision is a threat to her fundamental right to life and liberty. She also expressly stated that her husband had subjected her to dowry harassment and brutal rape involving torch lights, that led to serious injuries.
While one cannot question the judgement of the Apex Court, one can definitely dwell on the deeply rooted patriarchy in a law that overlooks rape just because "they are married."
Isn't this hypocrisy, India? Especially for a country where marriages aren't entirely borne out of consent either.
"According to UN Women's 2011 report, marital rape is a criminal offence in about 52 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and neighbouring Bhutan. The report said 127 countries did not explicitly criminalise rape within marriage," reports HT.
Back in March 2000, the law commission in its report to the government had recommended that forced intercourse in marriage should be considered a form of domestic violence as well. The Justice Verma committee that sat on rape laws after the "Nirbhaya" case had similar concerns.
However, the government, that interestingly pegs all its reform plans on "women's safety" forgot to make the little change. Are we safe the day we get married?
We admit that sexual threat exists in families. That it exists in schools/colleges. Then why do we make this exception for marriages?
Is it because marriage is intrinsically a SEXUAL bond? Or should I say, bondage?
We marry strangers in this country. And we trust our daughters to be safe with them. Daughters aside, we trust ourselves to be safe from them?
Please, India. Let's understand one simple word across the board.