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Center opposes tagging marital rape as crime

The hearing for classifying marital rape as a crime began today in the Delhi High Court. The court is hearing a clutch of petitions that have been filed by women’s organizations. The petitions have sought that marital rape should be classified as a crime and the accused should be punished accordingly. The central government may have been in favor of abolishing triple talaq, but in case of marital rape, it has a different viewpoint. Responding to the petitions, the center told the court today that classifying marital rape as a crime would make men more prone to being harassed by their wives. The center said that if marital rape is treated as crime, it could be used as a tool by wives to harass their husbands.

The center also said that there is no scientific way to establish if sexual acts between a husband and wife were forced. Marital rape would be based solely on the statement provided by a wife, which would not be enough since the law relies in evident and not just accusations. The center also said that if marital rape is criminalized, it would destabilize the institution of marriage. Women’s organizations want to get rid of a particular clause under Section 375 of the Indian Panel Code. Section 375 has an exception provision, which states that forced sex by a man on his wife will not be treated as rape or sexual assault.

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