New Delhi: Marriage does not mean that a woman has to have a physical relationship with her husband said the Delhi High court. It is also held that physical force is not necessary for necessary for constituting the offense of rape. “It is incorrect to say that (physical) force is necessary for rape. It is not necessary to look for injuries in a rape. Today, the definition of rape is completely different” the court said.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita and C Hari Shankar said in a relationship like marriage, both man and women have a right to say ‘no’ to physical relations. “Marriage does not mean that the women are all time ready, willing and consenting. The man will have to prove that she was a consenting party”, the bench offered.
The court did not agree with the submission of NGO Men Welfare Trust, which is opposed the plea to make marital rape an offense, that in spousal sexual violence, the use of force or threat of force is important elements to constitute the offense.
The NGO’s representatives, Amit Lakhani and Ritwik Bisaria, argued that a woman already has protection from Sexual Violence in a marriage under the available laws, including Prevention of Women from Domestic Violence Act, harassment to married women, sexual intercourse with the wife without her consent while she is living separately and unnatural sex.
On this note, the court said that If it was already covered under the other laws, why should there be an exception in section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, which says intercourse or a sexual act by a man with his wife is not rape.
The arguments remained inconclusive and will continue on August 8, the next date of hearing.