Government Thinking Of Criminalising Marital Rape: Maneka Gandhi
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi (Photo: IANS)
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi (Photo: IANS)

Government Thinking Of Criminalising Marital Rape: Maneka Gandhi

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Tuesday that the government is mulling over criminalising marital rape.

The minister had come under fire in March over her reply to a question in the Parliament on whether the government had plans to criminalise marital rape.

Gandhi had said:

It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors, for example, levels of education/illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat marriage as a sacrament, etc.

Gandhi had later said the ministry could consider taking steps to criminalise marital rape provided there is ample proof of enough number of such complaints.

We know it (marital rape) happens frequently. But women need to come and complain about this aspect of violence, and once there is enough data, the government could respond. 
Maneka Gandhi, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development

On Tuesday, she said there is an attempt by the government to move forward on the issue.

Replying to a question on whether there is an attempt to push for criminalisation of marital rape, Gandhi said, “Now there is”. She was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event to launch ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign in 61 additional districts.

Gandhi expressed hope that there will be a decision soon on the issue. Earlier, the Home Ministry had sought the Law Commission’s opinion on the matter during the course of its comprehensive review of the criminal justice system.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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