Marital Rape is defined a non-consensual sex through force by the victim’s husband. It is a

form of physical violence by the male partner of a married woman. It is not illegal within the

legal frameworks of India yet. Marital rape could be by the use of force only, a battering rape or a sadistic/obsessive rape

In the present day, examines demonstrate that somewhere around 10 and 14% of wedded ladies are assaulted by their spouses: the occurrences of conjugal assault takes off to 1/third to ½ among clinical examples of battered ladies. Rape by one’s companion represents around 25% of assaults conferred. Women who got to be prime focuses for conjugal assault are the individuals who endeavor to escape. Criminal allegations of rape might be activated by different acts, which may incorporate genital contact with the mouth or butt or the inclusion of articles into the vagina or the rear-end, all without the assent of the casualty. It is a cognizant procedure of terrorizing and affirmation of the prevalence of Men over women


Article 14 provides that “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the

equal protection of the laws within the territory of India[1]. Also, under Article 15, the state is

empowered to make special provision for women and children in India[2]. According to these articles, it is clear that the state can take steps for criminalisation of marital rape and punishment to the wrongdoers..

Section 375 in dealing with sexual assault, in a very narrow purview lays down that, an offence of rape within marital bonds stands only if the wife be less than 12 years of age, if she be between 12 to 16 years, an offence is committed, however, less serious, attracting milder punishment. Once, the age crosses 16, there is no legal protection accorded to the wife, in direct contravention of human rights regulations.

.Marital rape is illegal in 18 American States, 3 Australian States, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Soviet Union, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Rape in any form is an act of utter humiliation, degradation and violation rather than an outdated concept of penile/vaginal penetration. Restricting an understanding of rape reaffirms the view that rapists treat rape as sex and not violence and hence, condone such behaviour.

Section 375- Rape – A man is said to commit “rape” who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions[3]8:—

  • Against her will.
  • Without her consent.
  • With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in
  • whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.
  • With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is
  • given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be
  • lawfully married.
  • With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of
  • mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying
  • or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of
  • that to which she gives consent.
  • With or without her consent, when she is under eighteen years of age.

Marriage does not thrive on sex and the fear of frivolous litigation should not stop protection from being offered to those caught in abusive traps, where they are denigrated to the status of chattel. Apart form judicial awakening; we primarily require generation of awareness. Men are the perpetrators of this crime. ‘Educating boys and men to view women as valuable partners in life, in the development of society and the attainment of peace are just as important as taking legal steps protect women’s human rights’, says the UN. Men have the social, economic, moral, political, religious and social responsibility to combat all forms of gender discrimination.

In a country rife with misconceptions of rape, deeply ingrained cultural and religious stereotypes, and changing social values, globalization has to fast alter the letter of law.



[1] The Constitution of India, 1950, Article 14.

[2] Ibid, Article 15, Cl. (3).

[3] S. 376, the Indian Penal Code, 1860.



Symbiosis law school,Hyderabad,BALLB