Isha, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala
“Fight for gender equality is not a fight against men. It is a fight against traditions that have chained them- a fight against attitudes that are ingrained in the society- it is a fight against the system- a fight against proverbial Laxman Rekha is different for men and women. The society must rise to the occasion. It must recognise and accept the fact that men and women are equal partners in life. They are individuals who have their own identity.”1 -Dr. Justice A. S. Anand Sexual abuse and violence is very much common in India and nowadays in the ambit of marriage it is more prevalent. Such kind of abuse is not reported mostly and is most brutal one. We can define marital rape as intercourse by husband to his wife where wife is unable to give the consent or wife consent is obtained by force or under threat of force. It is a physical violence against such wife. Due to increase in number of rape cases there is need of amendment hence in 2013 rape laws were amended on the recommendations of the Justice J.S. Verma Committee Report. However, still India not recognise marital rape as an separate offence. The concept of marital rape does exists in a very limited sense in India, If a husband has sexual intercourse with his wife who is below 15 years of age, would be rape and if the women is separated from her husband under a decree of judicial separation and her husband has sexual intercourse with her without her consent, it would amount to rape.2 As we have no proper law on marital rape, the parliament doesn’t take any effort to criminalize such offence as it is believed that there is implied consent. It does not matter what is the relation between parties as rape would be rape even though they are husband and wife. Also some leaders have opinion that it is a western concept and it cannot be applied in Indian Society where people are generally poor and illiterate. There are Many countries who removed exception of marital rape in their respective penal statutes. The Law Commission and the Justice Verma Committee also recommended the same. But, no concrete step has been made. In a marriage there should be understanding and mutual respect between spouses and it should not be thrive on sex, hence there is need that marital rape should be criminalized as it a violation of cherished Fundamental Rights.