The social media trends in India have shifted to an unusual and striking hashtag in the past few days, especially on Twitter. In India, the hashtag ‘Marriage Strike’ trended, with thousands of people sharing their thoughts and opinions.
In India, the High Court is debating whether to criminalize ‘marital rape’. In light of the ongoing court proceedings, some social media users have used the hashtag #MarriageStrike to talk about the potential impact of the move. It has been suggested that the move might favor women. Some men have vowed never to marry. In addition, there are claims that the law could help those suffering in silence. Men versus women narratives sparked a heated social media debate. There is a huge difference between the opinions of men and women on this topic.
The story so far…
The Delhi High Court, Thursday (January 20), considered whether the exception under the rape law which shields the husband from prosecution for a non-consensual sexual act with his wife could be unconstitutional if the law were gender-neutral. As part of the hearing, NGOs RIT Foundation and All India Democratic Women’s Association, as well as a man and a woman are seeking to strike down the exception granted to husbands under the Indian rape law. Amicus Curiae Rebecca John, of the Delhi High Court, argued that if a married woman can be subjected to sexual intercourse without her consent, this too must be viewed as a form of oppression.
What is the law?
Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, as long as the woman is over the age of fifteen, is not considered rape under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code. Amicus John argued that a class of individuals who have been enjoying legal immunity from prosecution are now at risk of losing it if the exception is declared unconstitutional. In his submission seeking to strike down the exception to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, the advocate argues that this is not the creation of a new crime but a mere lifting of immunity from prosecution.
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