The Allahabad High Court, in a recent judgment, has stirred controversy by acquitting a man charged under Section 377 of the IPC for an alleged “unnatural offense” against his wife. The court clarified that protection from marital rape continues if the wife is 18 years or older.
The court acknowledged the absence of criminalization for marital rape when the wife is 18 or older, stating that while petitions are pending before the Supreme Court seeking such criminalization, there is currently no criminal penalty.
Critics argue that such legal judgments, coupled with controversial content in recent films like “Animal,” risk normalizing harmful behavior. There is a growing concern that these verdicts may embolden criminals to commit heinous acts against women under the pretext of marriage.
As discussions on criminalizing marital rape persist, the intersection of legal decisions and societal perceptions remains a contentious issue.