Marital Rape

Marriage does not oblige a woman to have sex with her husband, says Delhi High Court

The court also said that physical force is not necessary to constitute the offence of rape.

The Delhi High Court said on Tuesday said that marriage does not mean a woman is obliged to have a physical relationship with her husband. The court also said that physical force is not necessary to constitute the offence of rape, PTI reported.

“Marriage does not mean that the woman is all time ready, willing and consenting [for sex],” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and C Hari Shankar said. “The man will have to prove that she was a consenting party.” The court said that in a marriage, both the woman and the man have the right to refuse to have a physical relationship.

The court was hearing pleas for and against making marital rape an offence.

“It is incorrect to say that force is necessary for rape,” the bench observed, disagreeing with the submission of non-profit organisation Men Welfare Trust, which opposed the plea to make marital rape an offence. “If a man puts his wife under financial constraint and says he will not give her money for household and kids expenses, unless she indulges in sex with him and she has to do it under this threat. Later, she filed a rape case against the husband, what will happen?” The court added that the definition of rape today is “completely different”.

Amit Lakhani and Ritwik Bisaria, the NGO’s representatives, argued that the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, as well as other laws, already protect married women from sexual violence. However, the court then questioned the need for an exception under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, which says that sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, who is above 15 years of age, is not rape.

The Men Welfare Trust is opposing petitions filed by the non-profit groups RIT Foundation and the All-India Democratic Women’s Association, which have challenged the constitutional validity of Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code. The section exempts a man from a rape charge if the woman he has forced sexual intercourse with is his wife.

The hearing will resume on August 8.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The cost of setting up an employee-friendly office in Mumbai

And a new age, cost-effective solution to common grievances.

A lot has been theorised about employee engagement and what motivates employees the most. Perks, bonuses and increased vacation time are the most common employee benefits extended to valuable employees. But experts say employees’ wellbeing is also intimately tied with the environment they spend the bulk of the day in. Indeed, the office environment has been found to affect employee productivity and ultimately retention.

According to Gensler’s Workplace Index, workplace design should allow employees to focus, collaborate, learn and socialise for maximum productivity, engagement and overall wellbeing. Most offices lag on the above counts, with complaints of rows of cluttered desks, cramped work tables and chilled cubicles still being way too common.

But well-meaning employers wanting to create a truly employee-centric office environment meet resistance at several stages. Renting an office space, for example, is an obstacle in itself, especially with exorbitant rental rates prevalent in most business districts. The office space then needs to be populated with, ideally, ergonomic furniture and fixtures. Even addressing common employee grievances is harder than one would imagine. It warrants a steady supply of office and pantry supplies, plus optimal Internet connection and functioning projection and sound systems. A well-thought-out workspace suddenly begins to sound quite cost prohibitive. So, how can an employer balance employee wellbeing with the monthly office budget?

Co-working spaces have emerged as a viable alternative to traditional workspaces. In addition to solving a lot of the common problems associated with them, the co-working format also takes care of the social and networking needs of businesses and their employees.

WeWork is a global network of workspaces, with 10 office spaces in India and many more opening this year. The co-working giant has taken great care to design all its premises ergonomically for maximum comfort. Its architects, engineers and artists have custom-designed every office space while prioritising natural light, comfort, productivity, and inspiration. Its members have access to super-fast Internet, multifunction printers, on-site community teams and free refreshments throughout the day. In addition, every WeWork office space has a dedicated community manager who is responsible for fostering a sense of community. WeWork’s customised offerings for enterprises also work out to be a more cost-effective solution than conventional lease setting, with the added perks of WeWork’s brand of service.

The video below presents the cost breakdown of maintaining an office space for 10 employees in Vikhroli, Mumbai and compares it with a WeWork membership.

Play

To know more about WeWork and its office spaces in India, click here.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of WeWork and not by the Scroll editorial team.