Criminalisation of marital rape | Appeal filed in Supreme Court against Delhi High Court's split verdict

The petitioners had challenged the constitutionality of the marital rape exception under Section 375 IPC (rape) on grounds that it discriminated against married women who are sexually assaulted by their husbands

May 17, 2022 02:53 pm | Updated 11:01 pm IST - New Delhi

A view of the Supreme Court of Inida, in New Delhi.

A view of the Supreme Court of Inida, in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court appealing against the Delhi High Court’s split verdict in the marital rape case.

The judges of the High Court has differed on the cardinal issue whether men can face the charge of rape for forcing themselves on their wives.

The case primarily deals with bodily autonomy, privacy and right to dignity in marriage.

Though split in their opinions on the subject, Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice C. Hari Shankar had allowed the petitioners to move the top court for an authoritative view on the issue.

While Justice Shakdher, who headed the High Court Bench, favoured striking down the marital rape exception for being “unconstitutional” 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 IPC, Justice Shankar said the exception under the rape law is not “unconstitutional and was based on an intelligible differentia”.

The petitioners had challenged the constitutionality of the marital rape exception under Section 375 IPC (rape) on grounds that it discriminated against married women who are sexually assaulted by their husbands. Under the exception given in Section 375 of the IPC, sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his wife, the wife not being minor, is not rape.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.