A man accused of rape by his wife was discharged of the offence by a court here which accepted the man’s lawyer’s contention that the Indian Penal Code did not recognise the concept of marital rape even if sexual intercourse was by force or against the wish and consent of the victim.

The woman, who has a minor daughter aged 10 from her first marriage, said after her husband passed away the accused started courting her and they got married in 2006. She alleged that he had an eye on her 25-square-yard property and squandered that along with his four sons, who have also been charge-sheeted by the Delhi Police.

The woman’s statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code was recorded before a magistrate. Owing to the rape allegation in the charge sheet the case was committed to Sessions.

Additional Sessions Judge J. R. Aryan said: “Learned defence counsel rightly argued that our Penal Code does not recognise any such concept of martial rape. If complainant was a legally wedded wife of accused then sexual intercourse with her by accused would not constitute offence of rape even if it was by force or against the wish and consent of complainant. Learned counsel referred to exception to Section 375 IPC where it is provided that sexual relation by a man with his own wife, wife not being under 15 years of age, is not a rape. I do agree with the submissions and contentions of learned defence counsel that prima facie offence under Section 376 IPC cannot be found made out against accused.”

Noting that the other offences including criminal intimidation and theft against the five men are triable by a Magistrate, Mr. Aryan sent the case back for assignment to the competent magistrate having jurisdiction over Khajuri Khas police station.

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