back to top

India's Supreme Court Again Says Marital Rape Is Not A Crime

Indian criminal law states that sexual intercourse between a man and his wife is not considered rape, even if consent is not granted. On Feb. 17, the Supreme Court once again refused a marital rape survivor's plea to reconsider the law.

Originally posted on
Updated on

This week, multiple news outlets reported that the Supreme Court again refused to entertain the pleas of a woman who was the survivor of marital sexual violence.

"You are espousing a personal cause and not a public cause," one Supreme Court judge said during the Feb. 17 hearing, according to the Hindustan Times.

The woman was filing the complaint on the grounds that she was an exception to Section 375 of the IPC.

According to dna, the petition submitted stated that "marital rape has been criminalised in almost all major common law jurisdictions throughout the world, including in the US, the UK, South Africa and Canada".

According to the report, the woman argued that this law "violated her fundamental right to life and liberty".

Even though women's safety from sexual violence has been at the forefront of public debate in India since 2012, marital rape is still completely legal in the world's largest democracy.

The controversial section 375 of the Indian Penal Code allows for a man or woman to rape his/her spouse.The section states that non-consensual sex is considered rape, but makes this exception: "Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape."Despite multiple reports of marital rape across India, pleas to amend the law have fallen on deaf ears within the Indian courts system.
Narinder Nanu/AFP / Getty Images

The controversial section 375 of the Indian Penal Code allows for a man or woman to rape his/her spouse.

The section states that non-consensual sex is considered rape, but makes this exception: "Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape."

Despite multiple reports of marital rape across India, pleas to amend the law have fallen on deaf ears within the Indian courts system.