“Can India turn a blind eye towards marital rape?”
This question is being argued in the Delhi High Court, where a two-judge bench of Justices Rajiv Shakder and C Hari Shankar are hearing petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the exception to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code that deals with rape.
Now, while this section has undergone a series of amendments over the years where it emphasises on the importance of consent, this pre-colonial exception of marital rape has continued to tag along into the 21st century.
Essentially, this exception allows marital rights to a husband who can, with legal sanction, exercise his right to consensual or non-consensual sex with his wife.
This provision has been struck down in other countries like the UK, Canada, and Australia. But the big question is, why does India continue to have this exception?
In today’s episode, we will discuss how this exception came about, the arguments being heard in Delhi High Court, and will striking down this exception amount to creating a new offence?
Joining me today to discuss this is The Quint’s Legal Editor, Vakasha Sachdev.