Marital rape shouldn’t be crime in India: Ex-CJI Misra

Former Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, stands with students at the KLE Law College in Bengaluru on Monday, April 8, 2019.

Former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra sanctified the judiciary’s reluctance to reform itself by resolving cases speedily while stating marital rape should never be made a crime.

“I don’t think that marital rape should be regarded as an offence in India, because it will create absolute anarchy in families and our country is sustaining itself because of the family platform which upholds family values,” he said at a conference on ‘Transformative Constitutionalism in India’ on Monday.

Justice Misra described the notion of criminalising marital rape as an idea borrowed from other nations and not applicable to India. Over a 12-month period from 2015 to 2016, the National Health and Family Survey revealed that 5.4% of Indian women had informed census workers that their husbands had used physical violence in order to force them into sexual intercourse.

The weight of the former CJI’s words seemed to hit many young women gathered for the conference hard.

When Shankara Prasad, a proponent for a more transparent government, broached the subject of speeding up legal cases, Justice Misra absolved the judiciary of the responsibility for the backlog of cases by saying the briskness of which a court case is disposed of depends on “people and their lawyers.”

Mohan Peiris, a former Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, described the judiciary’s sense of detachment as being as much a sign of the system’s belief in its own sophistication as its “obliviousness” about what people want. “We are in the stars; our feet are not on the ground,” he said. 

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Marital rape shouldn’t be crime in India: Ex-CJI Misra


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