Former governor of Mizoram and Supreme Court lawyer Swaraj Kaushal on Tuesday stirred a controversy by tweeting on the ongoing hearing in the Delhi High Court to criminalise marital rape. Earlier on Tuesday, the Centre told the High Court that criminalising marital rape may destabilise the institution of marriage.

Reacting to this, Kaushal, Union minister Sushma Swaraj’s husband, said, “There will be more husbands in the jail, than in the house.” When a Twitter user by the name Amit Choudhary asked Kaushal if he was defending marital rape, the advocate replied, “There is nothing like marital rape. Our homes should not become police stations.”

Kaushal faced immediate backlash on social media for denying marital rape.

The Centre cited the misuse of Section 498A and said that if criminalised, the accusation of marital rape would become an easy tool for harassing husbands. By this section of the law, a husband and his family can be arrested without any investigation if a wife or her relative files a complaint saying the man or his family have abused her mentally or physically.

The lead petition in the case has been filed by RIT Foundation, and the All India Democratic Women’s Association. A victim of marital rape has also joined the petition as an intervener.