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

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.


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Printable version | May 18, 2022 1:30:24 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/criminalisation-of-marital-rape-appeal-filed-in-supreme-court-against-delhi-high-courts-split-verdict/article65422270.ece