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An Indian woman accused her husband of forcing her to have ‘unnatural sex.' A judge said that's not a crime in marriage

·2 mins

An Indian judge has dismissed a woman’s complaint about her husband’s engagement in sexual acts as it is not illegal for a husband to force his wife into such acts under Indian law. The ruling brings attention to the legal loophole in India that does not criminalize marital rape committed by a husband against his wife, provided she is over 18 years old. Activists have been pushing for a change in the law, but face opposition from conservatives who argue that state interference could disrupt the institution of marriage in India. The law is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court delivered a split verdict on the issue in 2022. The woman alleged that her husband engaged in non-consensual sexual acts “on multiple occasions” and threatened to divorce her if she told anyone. Marital rape is not recognized as a crime in India, and the judge highlighted the marital rape exemption rooted in British rule. This decision has raised concerns about the treatment of women in India and highlights the ongoing violence and discrimination faced by women in a patriarchal society. While India has enacted laws to protect women, the reluctance to criminalize marital rape leaves women without adequate protection. The article also mentions that women can seek legal action under civil law or file charges for sexual assault and domestic violence, but the laws are subject to interpretation and implementation varies. A 2022 study found that many married women who try to file police complaints about marital rape are ignored, and some are explicitly told that marital rape is not a crime.