Even as a debate on whether marital rape should be made a crime in India is on, former chief justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra has said that as per his "personal opinion" he doesn't think it should be an offence.
“I don’t think that marital rape should be regarded as an offence in India, because it will create absolute anarchy in families and our country is sustaining itself because of the family platform which upholds family values,” he was quoted saying at a conference in Bengaluru's KLE Society’s Law College.
Misra also said that he believes that the idea of marital rape as crime has been borrowed from other nations and hence not necessarily applicable to our country.
The former CJI's comment almost justifies section 375 of the Indian Penal Code which states that forced sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, not above 18 years of age, is not rape.
His comment drew strong criticism from the Twitterati, many of whom simply "couldn't believe" Misra's remarks.
I can't believe Dipak Misra is the same man who upheld the rights of the queer community, and is now stating that marital rape should never be a crime. People will disappoint.
— vivek tejuja (@vivekisms) April 10, 2019
Misra's comment comes days after hundreds of women from nearly 20 states had marched in protest against gender-based violence and discrimination in early April.
A report by the Deccan Herald states how the National Health and Family Survey had revealed that as much as 5.4% of Indian women, between 2015 to 2016, had reported being physically violated by their husbands.
The Centre had in August 2018 argued against criminalising marital rape and held that it would lead to "destabilisation of the institution of marriage". The government had also said that it would become an easy tool to harass husbands while claiming that there was no “lasting evidence” of violence in sexual acts between a man and his wife.
However, in more than 50 countries, including neighbouring Nepal, the United States, Britain and South Africa, it is criminal for a husband to rape his wife.
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Updated Date: Apr 10, 2019 13:45:50 IST