Domestic violence in India is an entrenched problem, and it has only been exacerbated in recent years. According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) ‘Crime in India’ 2019 report, about 70% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. One such manifestation of this domestic violence is Marital rape. Today, Marital rape has been impeached in more than 100 countries but, unfortunately, India is one of the only 36 countries where marital rape is still not criminalized. Even though many legal amendments have been done in criminal law for the protection of the women, the non-criminalization of marital rape in India undermines the dignity and human rights of women. Marital rape in India forces the women to compromise on several fronts. The women are subjugated to gross indignity which consequently leads to the violation of the human rights. The human rights are so intertwined with the fundamental rights that committal of marital rape is also the violation of fundamental right. It is also a threat to gender justice as the women, especially the weaker women of the society are its main victims and the issue remains unaddressed at the legal level.
This paper seeks to analyse the existing status quo of conjugal rape in India vis-à-vis the judgments of the Supreme Court of India that sets the precedent for this heinous crime.