Marital Rape: Marriage Not A License To Unleash Brutal Beast, Rules High Court

New Delhi: In a significant order on marital rape, Karnataka High Court said on Wednesday that marriage is no license to unleash ‘a brutal beast.’

“The institution of marriage does not confer, cannot confer and in my considered view, should not be construed to confer, any special male privilege or a license for unleashing of a brutal beast. If it is punishable to a man, it should be punishable to a man albeit, the man being a husband,” the High Court verdict said.

“A brutal act of sexual assault on the wife, against her consent, albeit by the husband, cannot but be termed to be a rape. Such sexual assault by a husband on his wife will have grave consequences on the mental sheet of the wife, it has both psychological and physiological impact on her. Such acts of husbands scar the soul of the wives. It is, therefore, imperative for the law makers to now hear the voices of silence,” the order stated.

“Age-old thought and tradition that husbands are the rulers of their wives, their body, mind and soul should be effaced,” the high court said, adding that it was on this archaic, regressive and preconceived notion that such cases are mushrooming in the nation.

The Chhattisgarh High Court ruled last August that sexual intercourse or any sexual act between legally wedded couple is not rape, even if done by force.

Kerala High Court, on the other hand, said that committing sexual acts against the wife’s will is nothing but marital rape.

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