The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and others on a plea against the Delhi High Court’s split verdict on an issue relating to criminalising marital rape matter.
A bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and Justice BV Nagarathna agreed to examine the issue and listed the matter for further hearing in February 2023. All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) among others has moved the Supreme Court against Delhi High Court’s split verdict on issues relating to criminalising marital rape matters.
Two- judges Bench of Delhi HC on May 12 pronounced a split verdict on an issue.
Delhi HC’s Judge Justice Rajiv Shakdher ruled in favour of criminalising while Justice Hari Shankar disagreed with the opinion and held that Exception 2 to Section 375 does not violate the Constitution as it is based on intelligible differences.
According to the order passed by Justice Rajiv Shakdher, husbands can be held criminally liable for sexual relations without the consent of the wife. Justice Hari Shankar expressed disagreement with this view.
AIDWA was represented by advocate Karuna Nundy and the plea was filed through advocate Rahul Narayan.
AIDWA, in its plea, said that the exception allowed to marital rape is destructive and in opposition to the object of rape laws, which clearly ban sexual activity sans consent. It places the privacy of a marriage on a pedestal above the rights of the woman in the marriage, the plea said.
The petition said that the Marital Rape Exception is in violation of Articles 14, 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution.