JURISPRUDENCE ASPECT OF PENAL LAW RELATING TO RAPE IN INDIA: SPECIAL REFERENCE TO MARITAL RAPE

Pyali Chatterjee

Abstract


In a country like India, where on one side, women are worshipped as Goddesses in temples and on the other side women are raped, humiliated in every corner of the society. Among all crimes against women, RAPE is considered to be one of the heinous crimes. In one of the cases, Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Subhra Chakraborty (1996) 1SCC 490, the Supreme Court of India said that rape is a crime not only against a woman but against the entire society. Further, it also stated that “Rape is thus not only a crime against the person of a woman (victim), it is a crime against the entire society. It destroys the entire psychology of a woman and pushes her into deep emotional crisis. It is only by her sheer will-power that she rehabilitates herself in the society which, on coming to know of the rape, looks down upon her in derision and contempt. Rape is, therefore, the most hated crime. It is a crime against basic human rights and is also violative of the victim’s most cherished of the Fundamental Rights, namely, the Right to Life contained in Article 21. To many feminists and psychiatrists, rape is less a sexual offence than an act of aggression aimed at degrading and humiliating women. The rape laws do not, unfortunately, take care of the social aspect of the matter and are inept in many respects.” Even though in many judgments, the Supreme Court has expressed similar view for rape but when the question comes regarding marital rape, even the highest Judiciary and the Constitution not only fails to consider the gravity of the marital rape but also violates one of the essential and vital rights of the women i.e. Right to Dignity and Right to Privacy by making bias law against married and unmarried women. Through this paper, researcher will discuss about the gravity of marital rape and its need for inclusion in the penal laws.


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