The Centre’s Narendra Modi government told the Delhi High Court that criminalising marital rape may destabilise the institution of marriage apart from being an easy tool for harassing the husbands.
The Centre also said that there could not be any lasting evidence to sexual acts between a husband and his wife.
It said, “If all sexual acts by a man with his own wife will qualify to be marital rape, then the judgment as to whether it is a marital rape or not will singularly rest with the wife. The question is what evidences the Courts will rely upon in such circumstances as there can be no lasting evidence in case of sexual acts between a man and his own wife.”
The Centre, in an affidavit filed in response to pleas seeking criminalising marital rape, said the Supreme Court and various High Courts have already observed the growing misuse of section 498A (harassment caused to a married woman by her husband and in-laws) of IPC.
The reply, filed before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar, also sought to implead state governments in the matter to know their opinion to avoid any complication at a later stage.
“It has to be ensured adequately that marital rape does not become a phenomenon which may destabilise the institution of marriage apart from being an easy tool for harassing the husbands,” the affidavit, filed through central government standing counsel Monika Arora, said.
Swaraj Kaushal, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s husband, former governor of Mizoram and senior advocate himself, too agreed with the government stand and tweeted, “There will be more husbands in the jail, than in the house.”
No sooner did he post this tweet, he began to be trolled on social media platforms with many asking if it was right for husbands to force on wives against her desire.
Here are some of these comments: