The raging issue whether to make forced marital intercourse and sexual acts part of offence of rape in penal law have been extensively debated and now it cannot be considered as a criminal act, the Supreme Court said on Thursday.
Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which defines the offence of rape, has an exception clause that says the intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, is not a rape.
The apex court, however, sought to know as to whether Parliament debated the aspect of protecting married girls, between the age group of 15-18 years, from the forced sexual acts by their spouses.
It also asked whether the court could intervene to protect the rights of such married girls who may be sexually exploited by their spouses.
“Parliament has extensively debated the issue of marital rape and considered that it was not an offence of …