WOW | Men Speak

MARITAL RAPE A Crime or Not

Shikhar Pandit
Attorney at Law, Managing Associate, Gandhi and Associates

As a lawyer, I often find myself engaging in the discussion of morality. In simple terms, the law is nothing more than the interpretation of the prevailing morality of the society. We tend to resist the status quo of laws when there is a discourse between the law and the prevailing morality of the society.

Rape, whether in wedlock or not, is an inhumane crime. Not until the Supreme Court’s decision in 2006 had we interpreted the law to this effect, but the laws have changed with time. I can’t start to imagine the physical or mental toll rape would have on a person, let alone by someone you vow to spend the rest of your life with, but a law is only as good as it is enforced; its prime suspect being lack of awareness. If women are well informed of their rights and with the right pedigree of empowerment from the society, change will come, regardless of which corner of Nepal it may be!