Gautam Patel in a post on SlutWalk talks about rape laws in India:
Our own law on rape is so prehistoric it would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. S.376(1) of the Indian Penal Code says that rape is punishable for a minimum of seven years but could also be for life or a 10-year time, plus a fine, “unless the woman raped is his own wife and is not under twelve years of age”, in which case the sentence is two years and a fine. Twelve years? Wife? Why is this still on the statute books? Now try squaring this with S.375, which defines rape: statutory rape, regardless of consent, is when the victim is under 16; but subject to this ‘exception’: “sexual intercourse by man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape”. Therefore, in any marriage, the wife’s consent is not only presumed, but the husband has a right to force intercourse, unless the wife is under 15. The legal age for marriage is 18. What is to be made of this mess? A girl-child of 15 could be married, and she can’t be raped by her husband.
And if I recall correctly, a man cannot be raped by a woman — atleast according to the law. So guys, please don’t dress provocatively. And button up your shirts.
[If you’re looking for the legal position on marital rape in India, this is a good post.]