The Delhi High Court has given a fractured verdict on petitions seeking to declare marital rape as an offense.
Marital rape trial
During the hearing on the criminalization of matrimonial rape, the opinion of both the judges did not show a consensus, due to which both the judges have now proposed the matter for hearing in the Supreme Court.
In the case pending in the Delhi High Court since 2015, a demand made to declare Exception 2 of Section 375 of the IPC as invalid. Exception 2 of Section 375, which defines rape, states that if the wife is more than 15 years of age, then the husband forcibly having sex with her is not rape. This provision challenged by some of the petitioners including RIT Foundation, All India Democratic Women’s Association, and Khushboo Saifi.
High Court expressed displeasure over the attitude of the Center
Significantly, the High Court had expressed displeasure over the attitude of the Central Government for repeatedly seeking time to present its side in the matter of declaring marital rape as an offense. The court had reserved its verdict refusing to provide time to the Centre.
You will be able to present your side only after consultation
When asked by the bench, it said that till now no response received from any state government on the communication. SG Mehta had also argued that generally when a legislative act challenged, we have taken a stand. But they are commercial or taxation laws. There very few cases when such comprehensive results are found, so we stand that we will able to present our case only after consultation
Two weeks’ time given to present the side on the petitions.
The court is considering petitions seeking to do away with the exemption given to husbands under the Indian Rape Act. The High Court had on February 7 given the Center two weeks to present its stand on the petitions seeking the criminalization of marital rape. The Center had filed an affidavit urging the court to defer the hearing of the petitions, which contended that the criminalization of marital rape has far-reaching socio-legal ramifications in the country and called for a fruitful consultation process with various stakeholders, including state governments. the wanted.