Feb 18, 2015: The Supreme Court Tuesday refused to entertain a woman’s plea to declare marital rape a criminal offence, saying it wasn’t possible to order a change in the law for one person.
A Delhi-based MNC executive had told the court that her husband repeatedly resorted to sexual violence but she was helpless as marital rape was not a crime in India.
“You are espousing a personal cause and not a public cause…This is an individual case,” a bench of justice AR Dave and justice R Banumathi said, refusing to take up her plea. The woman had challenged the validity of an exception to Section 375 of the IPC that says sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, who is 15 or above, is not rape even if it is without consent.
The provision, the woman said, violated her fundamental right to life and liberty.
I am a little bit surprised that a woman who is working in MNC, presumably earning well, and knows the law enough to talk about constitution; did not know the law enough that she could easily have filed a DV case against husband, get residence order, protection order, maintenance and what not thanks to the radical feminists before her who tried to make it good for the womankind of India. Those court orders under DV case could easily have given her the fundamental right to life and liberty she so eagerly seems to covet.
On reading the news further:
The petitioner alleged that she was not only subjected to dowry harassment, but also brutally raped by the husband who pushed torch lights into her, causing grievous injuries.
Oh, so the learned complainant knows the magic words “dowry harassment”, so we can be sure that an IPC 498A has already been filed on the husband, but presumably the much coveted arrest of the husband didn’t materialize due to Arnesh Kumar SC judgment. So our complainant woman decided to check up on the constitution and such things, to make sure how to enable a charge on husband which has more than 7 years of punishment. Voila! How about marital ‘rape’! Only problem being that there is no crime called marital rape in India as yet.
As the bench was not inclined to entertain the petition, Colin Gonsalves, who represented the woman, chose to withdraw it. “We would move the court again on the issue….may be through a women’s organisation,” the senior advocate told HT.
The learned counsel makes a judicious retreat, in the face of insurmountable difficulties in changing the law merely based on one person’s complaint. We do hope it was a remunerative assignment though. Divorce lawyering can be very rewarding at times, I see no reason why else one should file such pleas in front of Supreme Court.