Need Ample Proof to Call Marital Rape a Crime: Maneka Gandhi

Maneka Gandhi earlier said that concept of marital rape can’t be applied in the Indian context. 

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Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi (Photo: IANS)

Woman and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi told The Indian Express that her ministry could consider taking a step towards criminalising marital rape provided there is ‘ample proof of enough number of complaints.’

Maneka had made a controversial statement during the Rajya Sabha proceedings saying, the concept of marital rape cannot be “suitably applied in the Indian context” due to factors like poverty, illiteracy and religious beliefs.

Also Read: Marital Rape Can’t Be Applied in India: Maneka Gandhi

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 told The Indian Express

She said the government does not have a case for introducing a separate law to criminalise marital rape since women do not use even existing laws on domestic violence to register complaints of rapes by husbands.

Violence is violence. It has to be strictly dealt with. We already have a section that covers domestic violence, and if that was used sufficiently for marital rape complaints, there would be grounds to move a new law…(However) police figures show it has not been used even once.

The ministry has apparently retracted its earlier reply to Rajya Sabha. It has now sent an amended answer to the Secretariat citing the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs’ 2013 report, which states that if marital rape is criminalised “the entire family system will be under great stress…”

Read the full report here.

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