The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday refused to quash rape charges filed by a woman against her husband, saying marriage is no license to “provide special male privilege or a license for unleashing a brutal beast”.
A single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna of the Karnataka High Court refused to drop rape charges framed by a trial court against a man for sexual assault of her wife.
The woman claimed that her husband treated her as a “sex slave”. The husband had moved to the High Court after a trial court took cognisance of the offence under Section 376 (Rape).
Justice Nagaprasanna noted that, a man is a man, an rape is a rape.
“A man is a man, an act is an act, rape is a rape, be it performed by a man the ‘husband’ on the ‘wife’. The age old regressive thought that husbands are the rulers of their wives, their body, mind and soul should be effaced. If it is punishable to a man, it should be punishable to a man albeit, the man being a husband.”
The High Court also clarified that the order against the husband is not about whether marital rape should be considered as an offence.
“It is for the legislature to delve upon the issue and consider tinkering of the exemption. This court is not pronouncing upon whether marital rape should be considered as an offence or the exception be taken away by the legislature.”
According to the woman, her husband forced her to have unnatural sex, even in front of their daughter.
The court noted that sexual assault by the husband on his wife have serious consequences on the mental health of the wife.
“A brutal act of sexual assault on the wife, against her consent, albeit by the husband, cannot but be termed to be a rape. Such sexual assault by a husband on his wife will have grave consequences on the mental sheet of the wife, it has both psychological and physiological impact on her. Such acts of husbands scar the soul of the wives. It is therefore, imperative for the lawmakers to now hear the voices of silence.”