The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Center to a series of petitions regarding the criminalization of marital rape. A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala asked the Union government to submit its response to the matter by February 15 and the final hearing on the pleas was set to begin on March 21.
One of the pleas has been filed in relation to the divided ruling of the Delhi High Court on this issue. This appeal was filed by Khushboo Saifi, one of the petitioners in the Delhi High Court.
The Delhi High Court had issued a divided verdict on the matter on May 11 last year.
However, both judges – Judge Rajiv Shakdher and Judge C Hari Shankar – on the bench agreed in granting a declaration of permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in this case as it involves substantial points of law that raise a require decision of the highest court.
While Judge Shakdher, who headed the divisional bench, favored scrapping the marital rape exception as it was “unconstitutional” and said it would be “tragic if a married woman’s cry for justice is not heard even after 162 years” since the entry into force of the IPC Justice Shankar said the exception under the rape law is not “unconstitutional and was based on an understandable difference”.
Another plea has been filed by a man against the ruling of the Karnataka High Court, which had cleared the way for his prosecution for allegedly raping his wife.
The Karnataka High Court had said on March 23 last year that exonerating a husband from charges of rape and unnatural sex with his wife violates Article 14 (equality before the law) of the constitution.
Few other pleas have been filed with the Supreme Court on this issue.
Some petitioners have contested the constitutionality of the marital rape exception under Section 375 IPC (rape) on the grounds that it discriminates against married women who have been sexually assaulted by their husbands.
Under the exception given in Section 375 of the IPC, intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his wife, where the woman is not a minor, is not rape.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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