Former INC president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday tweeted that consent is an “underrated” concept in Indian society but it should be foregrounded to ensure the safety of women.
The high court bench is hearing the final arguments on a batch of petitions, which states that the marital rape exception violates Article 14 (Right to Equality) and Article 21 (Right to Life) under the Constitution of India, and therefore, needs to be struck down.
Earlier, while hearing a clutch of petitions on overturning the marital rape exception in rape law, the Delhi High Court judge asked why the legal response should be different for a married woman and a sex worker.
“It should be self-evident that all women, whether sex workers or other workers, married or unmarried, are the sole owners of their own bodies. To have sex with them, their consent must be established. Rape is a violation of a woman’s autonomy, and marriage does not make her consent irrelevant,” the high court said.
Now Gandhi’s tweet has sparked a debate on the topic of criminalizing marital rape, with many supporting the Wayanad MP. However, there were some who argued it could lead to misuse of laws.
‘Criminalization of marital rape is long overdue’
‘Consent is must’
‘No set of rapists should be treated differently’
‘Like dowry laws, this too will get weaponized and misused’
A thread on why the law isn’t needed and there are already provisions for wives to take legal recourse:
‘Law on marital lapse will destroy Indian society’
‘Indian men have given up on law and justice’
‘Thank you, Rahul Gandhi, for speaking against marital rape’
UPA government opposed the law in 2013
‘One’s wedding certificate isn’t a licence to rape’
‘The law will open doors of jails for men’
‘Those opposing the law know they can’t get consent’
This tweet sums up the arguments of both sides:
A funny take on the situation: