Supreme Court seeks govt reply on marital rape pleas


NEW DELHI: After a split verdict by the Delhi high court on whether marital rape could be brought within the ambit of the offence of rape, the Supreme Court on Friday decided to examine the issue and sought a response from the Centre.
A bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar of the had HC differed in their reading of the exception under IPC Section 375 that shields husbands from a rape charge by wives.
Justice Shakdher had favoured striking down the marital rape exception and said it would be tragic if a married woman’s call for justice is not heard even after 162 years since the enactment of the Indian Penal Code.
But Justice Shankar had said the exception is not unconstitutional and was based on an intelligible differentia having a rational nexus with the object of the exception as well as Section 375 (rape) of the IPC itself. As the high court had allowed the parties to approach the Supreme Court for a final say on the matter saying it involved substantial questions of law which required a decision by the top court, the PIL petitioners filed an appeal in SC.





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