Marital rape cannot be criminalised in India, says Maneka Gandhi

first_imgMarital rape cannot be “suitably applied in the Indian context” due to factors like poverty, illiteracy and religious beliefs, Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has said.”It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors like level of education or illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament etc,” Maneka Gandhi said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha in response to a question on whether the government plans to criminalise marital rape.The minister further said that the scheme for globalisation of women helpline has been approved for implementation through states/UTs from April 1 last year to ensure 24-hour emergency and non-emergency response to women affected by violence both in public and private sphere, including in family, community and workplace.”All the states/UTs have been requested to submit the proposals in order to release funds. Funds have been sanctioned/released to 33 states/UTs for setting up Women Helpline,” she said.Though the ministry is planning the formation of a women welfare committee in all districts across the country, no such proposals have been formulated till now.Earlier, amicus curiae Indira Jaising had submitted a report to the Supreme Court, appealing for criminalisation of marital rape, and register forced anal penetration in a marriage under section 376 of the IPC as rape and not under section 377 as unnatural sex. The report also included the restructuring of the laws on consent to let off adolescents from criminal law in cases of consensual sex and strict penal action against army men raping women.advertisementlast_img read more