India is a country which is full of diverse culture and values and marriage is considered a very essential ingredient, it is a bond between two individuals which gives legitimacy to have sexual intercourse. Now let us begin with understanding the meaning of rape –

Rape is defined under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, it is defined as a criminal offence, further, it is stated that when a man has sexual intercourse with any women without her consent or will it be termed as rape. Also, under this section, just penetration is enough for being held liable for offence of rape. There are certain conditions that are mentioned under this act such as: –

> If the offence is committed without her consent

>If it is done without the will of the women

>When a woman gives her consent however, she gives her consent as she might believe that the person is her lawfully wedded husband

>Proper consent was present but the women did not know the nature or result of her consent

>If the girl is below 16 years then also her consent will not matter.[1]

Another form of rape is marital rape, however the problem with it is that it has still not been criminalized in India. So basically, marital rape, is an act of sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without the spouse’s consent. Although the problem is that in India marital rape has not been given the proper recognition, it is believed that in a marriage the spouse has the right to engage in the act without proper consent too. Marital rape is more widely experienced in women, it is regarded as a chronic form of violence and especially exists in abusive relationships. [2]Most countries had criminalized marital in the late 20th century onwards they have occurred in various ways including the removal of statutory exemptions from the definitions of rape, judicial decisions etc.

Historically marital rape was seen as a crime or tort of theft of man’s property and not much importance was provided to it.

Mathew Hale had described that a husband could not be charged with rape of his wife, it was not till 1990 that ICC statute recognized crimes of sexual violence as any violent crime even rape was to given much value before. [3] The Indian culture has a lot of expectations from women they want her to be ‘pativrata’ and they consider marriage to be a sacred bond which should not be broken anyhow and due to this societal pressure, most women tolerate the heinous crimes that take place with them almost daily.

Even in history women were treated as the property of males, first the property of their father and then their husbands due to this reason they are often not provided with education as it is thought that women are made to serve their husbands and education will thus be of no use.[4] Also, India has proved by not criminalizing marital rape that even after so much development women are still the property of their husbands and thus, they could do anything as they please.

Article 14 of the constitution is concerned with equality however when it comes to the topic of women getting sexually abused in marriage, this article fails miserably to provide any kind of equal rights to women. [5]

After the Delhi Gang Rape, a committee named Verma Committee had even suggested that marital rape should be included in article 375 however there was no progress and the question regarding criminalizing of this heinous crime did not get any answer as the government is continuously delaying it.

Kinds of Marital Rape

The following kind of rapes are part of martial rape – [6]

Battering rape – In these cases unfortunately the women is subjected to both sexual and physical violence and the violence experienced can be of various ways. Some are left battered during the violence or sometimes the violence takes place after sexual intercourse, the majority of victims fall under this.

Force only rape – In these types of cases the husbands use force to obtain the consent of their wives here a lot of violence is however not involved.

Obsessive rape – It is also termed as sadistic rape this involves various kinds of torturous sexual act; they are generally very violent and involve a lot of physical injuries. 

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act

This act was introduced in the year 2005, to protect women from any kind of violence that they had to face in their marriage however this act was not enough for protecting women from the crime of Marital Rape as till now it is not recognized in India properly and any women who become the victim of such crime can only separate from her husband on the grounds of cruelty, therefore, this act was not of much help in giving any kind of protection to women with regards to this particular crime. [7]

Case- Laws

  • Queen Empress v. Haree Mohan Mythee

In this particular case, the daughter of the defendant Phulmonee Dassee, who was eleven years old was brutally raped and because of which she died. The medical evidence report had claimed that she died because of the ruptured vagina that happened due to the brutal rape done. The ruptured vagina started to bleed a lot and due to excess blood overflow, she died on spot.

  • Anuja Kapur v. Union of India: –

In this particular case, a Public Interest Litigation was filed before the Honorable High Court of Delhi regarding some framing of important guidelines or bye-laws relating to marital rape as a proper ground for seeking divorce and also fixing some punishment/ penalties for violating such framed guided laws. The high court had held that framing of laws, guidelines and provisions is the function of legislature and not the court. The court is more actually concerned with interpretation of laws and not in the framing of laws.

  • State of Karnataka v. Krishnappa: –

In this particular case, the court had held that Non- Consent Intercourse would lead to violation of the rights and also lead to sexual violence. The convicts would be punished with heavy fines along with imprisonment which would also lead to life imprisonment.

  • Suchita Srivastava & Anr. V. Chandigarh Administration:

In this case, Supreme Court had given a judgement that a woman’s right to reproductive choices is a dimension of personal liberty as mentioned in Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It is really important that the rights are exercised and also everything is done under consent without any infringement of any right which might lead to imprisonment along with fine or both. It also leads to violation of woman’s dignity and reputation too.


Therefore, from the entire article it is fully portrayed that how marital rape is considered as a social evil and how many women are victim of this. Their rights are not even protected and it leads to violation of personal status and reputation. We need to protect our woman and make this country a safer place to live in otherwise sooner or later our country will become one of the most unsafe places to live which it has already become. Continuous cases of rape are being recorded even during this corona situation. We need to have a stricter law and also stricter leaders who can do something in order to stop the rape cases happening day to day and making night time unsafe for women. Husbands should be loyal and respect the choice of the women. They are not an animal or a servant of yours. Even the have a life and husbands should treat them with love and respect all the time and make their woman feel safe.

[1] (last visited 24th July, 11:29)

[2] (last visited 24th July, 13:13)

[3] (last visited 24th July, 16:49)

[4] (last visited 24th July, 18:37)

[5] (last visited, 24th July, 21:58)

[6] (last visited 25th July, 12:11)

[7] (last visited 25th July, 18:36)

Latest Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *