There Can’t be “Marital Rape” if Wife Above 18 Yrs: Allahabad High Court

Lucknow: Marital rape cannot be considered an offence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) if the wife is above the age of 18, observed the Allahabad High Court.

The High Court made these remarks while acquitting a husband of charges of committing an ‘unnatural offence’ against his wife. A bench of the Allahabad High Court stated that the accused in this case cannot be convicted under Section 377 of the IPC, as marital rape has not been criminalised in this country as yet, reported Live Law.

The Allahabad High Court, endorsing a previous observation of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, also stated that there is no place for any ‘unnatural offence’ (as per Section 377 IPC) to take place in a marital relationship.

In her plea, the complainant alleged that their marriage was an abusive relationship, and the husband allegedly subjected her to verbal and physical abuse and coercion, including acts of sodomy.

The High Court convicted the husband under sections related to cruelty by the husband or relatives of the husband (498-A) and voluntarily causing hurt (IPC 323) but acquitted him of charges under Section 377.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court agreed to list pleas to criminalise marital rape. The central government had submitted before the top court that criminalizing marital rape would have “social ramifications”.

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