Trigger Warning: This post contains information about physical and sexual abuse which some readers may find disturbing.
The Gujarat High Court acquitted a man accused of raping his wife who was a minor. It stated that non-interference in the matter would be a safer option for the wife.
Which law punishes rape in India?
The law on rape is outlined in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) from Section 375 to Section 376E.
What is marital rape?
Marital rape occurs when a man has sexual intercourse with his spouse against her will or without her consent.
What is considered consent under the law?
Consent is defined as the unequivocal and voluntary communication by a person above 18 years of age to participate in sexual intercourse.
Is marital rape recognised in India?
Marital rape is explicitly excluded from the legal provisions that punish rape under the IPC. It is thus not considered a crime if a man has forcible sexual intercourse with his wife.
Is there any situation in which marital rape is punishable?
Yes. If the wife is younger than 15 years of age, it is considered a crime and punishable.
Can the perpetrator be convicted under another law?
Under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act), the age at which a child can give consent is 18. The Supreme Court has held that even if the husband cannot be convicted under the Indian Penal Code, he can be held accountable under the POCSO Act.