‘Every man is not a rapist’: Smriti Irani on marital rape in Rajya Sabha | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Every man is not a rapist’: Smriti Irani on marital rape in Rajya Sabha

Feb 02, 2022 09:04 PM IST

Union minister Smriti Irani said protection of women and children in our country is a priority for all but condemning every marriage as violent and every man as a rapist is not advisable.

NEW DELHI: The protection of women and children is a priority but condemning every marriage as violent and every man as a rapist is not advisable, said union minister of women and child development, Smriti Irani, in response to Communist Party of India (CPI) member of Parliament (MP) Binoy Viswam’s supplementary query on marital rape in Rajya Sabha.

Union minister Smriti Irani said over 30 helplines are functioning in India which have assisted over 66 lakh women. (ANI)
Union minister Smriti Irani said over 30 helplines are functioning in India which have assisted over 66 lakh women. (ANI)

“To condemn every marriage in this country as a violent marriage and to condemn every man in this country as a rapist, is not advisable in this august House,” said Irani. Her comment came after the Left leader sought to know if the government has taken note of Section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act and on the definition of domestic violence as well as Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the act of rape. The union minister denied any further elaboration on the matter that is currently sub-judice.

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“Currently, over 30 helplines are functioning in our country which have assisted over 66 lakh women. Currently, there are 703 One Stop Centres that are functional in this country which have assisted over five lakh women… Protection of women and children in our country is a priority for all,” Irani added.

Later, Viswam said that the response by Irani was an attempt to “mislead” the House and such statements “not only seek to trivialize the issue of marital rape and domestic violence but are deeply insulting to the numerous women who have been subjected to this crime.”

Currently, a bench of justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar of the Delhi high court are hearing public interest litigations (PILs) filed in 2015 by non-governmental organisation (NGO) RIT Foundation, All India Democratic Women’s Association, and two individuals seeking to strike down the exception in the Indian rape laws that insulates husbands on the grounds that it discriminated against married women who were sexually assaulted by their husbands.

Exception 2 of Section 375 Indian Penal Code (IPC) decriminalises marital rape and mandates that sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape.

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