A petition has been filed before the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the Central Government to declare marital rape as a ground for divorce..Presently, marital rape is not a ground for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 or Special Marriage Act, 1954..The public interest litigation filed by advocate Anuja Kapur also seeks a direction to the Central Government to frame clear guidelines for the registration of the cases related to marital rape..The petitioner claims that the plea was moved pursuant to a Delhi Government report to the High Court, stating that marital rape was already criminalized as cruelty under Section 498A of the IPC..To highlight the menace, the petitioner relies on several studies to quote the statistics around marital rape..“..18 out of every 100 men across India believe that a husband has the right to get angry and reprimand his wife if she refuses to have sexual intercourse with her husband. At the state level, 43% men in Andhra Pradesh, 42.6% in Telangana, 29.5% in Mizoram, 21.75 in J&K, 20.3% in West Bengal and 19.9% in Karnataka felt the same way..During the National Family Health Survey men respondents were asked if they agreed to the fact that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife if she refuses to have sex with him. Nine out of every 100 men across India agreed that a husband is justified in beating his wife if she refuses to have sex with him.“.It further adds,.“Five out of every 100 women in India reported that their husband had physically forced them to have sexual intercourse with him even when they didn’t want it. At the state level 11.4% women in Bihar, 10.6% in Manipur, 9% in Tripura, 7.4% in West Bengal, 7.3% in Haryana and 7.1% in Arunachal Pradesh reported that they were physically forced by their husbands to have sexual intercourse with them even when they did not want to.“.The petition thus argues that marital rape is no less an offence than murder, culpable homicide or rape per se and has long-lasting physical and psychological consequences for women..“It denigrates the honor and dignity of a human being, and reduces her to a chattel to be utilized for one’s self convenience and comfort. It reduces a woman to a corpse, living under the constant fear of hurt or injury.”, it is submitted..It is claimed that apart from suffering physical injuries, marital rape survivors often report flashback, sexual dysfunction and emotional pain, even after years of violence..The petition further submits that since marital rape is neither a crime nor a context in cases of sexual assault, sexual abuse or aggravated assault, FIRs are not registered by Police at the insistence of a victim wife..“..rather, it is being compromised (the complaint) by the Police Authorities to maintain the sanity of the marriage between the victim and the Husband.“.Therefore, the petitioner seeks a direction to the frame appropriate laws and by-laws related to marital rape as a ground for divorce and to also fix appropriate punishment or penalties for violation of such law..The matter is likely to be taken up in the coming days.