The marital rape law was last revised 68 years ago. As the Centre again argues against criminalising it, this 26-year-old is among the petitioners fighting back. SHALINI NAIR on her battle, and the long road leading to it.
The observation by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar assumes significance as one of the reasons given by the Centre for not making marital rape a criminal offence was that it could be "misused".
The second paragraph of the judgement also clarified that the apex court has not made any observation with regard to marital rape of a woman, who is 18 years of age and above, as this issue was not raised before it.
"Women sleep outside the house to avoid the sleeping husband in the house," said Nonibala. Unaware of the concept of marital rape, many women do not know that forceful intercourse within a marriage constitutes a crime.
Striking a direct conflict with the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, IPC implies that a girl can get married at the age of 15, whereas definition of a child under the Child Marriage Act has been stated as 18.