A judgment by the Karnataka High Court has held a man guilty of raping his wife and said marriage is not a license for such acts. India is one of the few countries that have still not criminalised marital rape.
As per Exception 2 to Section 375 (“the Exception”), Indian Penal Code, 1860 (“IPC”), any man who indulges in sexual activity with his own wife (the wife not being under eighteen years of age) will not be constituted as an offence of rape.
The catholicity of marriage in various societies and cultures is ascribed to essential social and personal functions such as sexual gratification and regulation in marital life. Division of labour between sexes, economic production and consumption and quenching personal needs for affection, social status and companionship are also some major factors behind the institution of marriage.