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Non-recognition of marital rape hypocrisy in law: Court

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Observing that India is yet to recognise woman's right to control marital intercourse as a core component of equality, a court here said absence of provision to deal with cases of marital rape as an offence exposes gross double standards and hypocrisy in law.

The court observation came Tuesday while declining bail to a man, a resident of west Delhi and accused for raping his wife and forcing her to perform unnatural sex. The victim said the man used to show her adult videos and also physically hurt her by biting her. The order was released Wednesday.

The court said: "It is ironical that we often treat such a woman or the wife who raises her voice against sexual perversity a suspect."

"Non-recognition of marital rape in our nation set upon the bedrock of equality is gross double standard and hypocrisy in law which is central to the subordination and subjugation of women and hence the need to address the issue by both statutory law as well as judicial pronouncements," Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.

"Reluctance of the legal system to recognise marital rape as a crime and then to prosecute except in extreme cases is a big problem and what is more worrisome is the fact that when it comes to marital rape and sexual acts within a marriage, our society either visualises this as an incident provoked by a wife who refuses to perform her duty or accepts it as something normal and chooses to look the other way," Lau said.

"It is unfortunate that we in India are yet to recognise woman's right to control marital intercourse as a core component of equality," the court said.

The court observed that allegation levelled by the victim is correct as she is the best witness in the case and was married with accused eight months ago.

"...there appears to be something seriously wrong with the accused and so also our society with sexual perversity pervading the system where lakhs of women suffer this kind of sexual violence and perversity in silence," it said.

"It is the crying need of hour to seriously recognize and address this problem." "Its rape when a man forces himself sexually upon a woman whether he has a licence by marriage law to do it or not," the court observed.

It added that woman has full autonomy over her body and recognition of marital Rape and offensive sexual acts and raising our voices against it, is the first crucial step towards achieving substantial equality between man and woman.

--Indo-asian News Service

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First Published: Wed, October 01 2014. 22:10 IST
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