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Delhi High Court gave such a decision on forced relationship with wife

New Delhi:  On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court issued a fractured decision on the issue of criminalisation of marital rape, with one judge f...


New Delhi:
 On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court issued a fractured decision on the issue of criminalisation of marital rape, with one judge favouring its repeal and the other ruling that it is not unconstitutional. In addition, the division bench has requested that both parties file an appeal with the Supreme Court. 

It's worth noting that Justice Rajiv Shakdher, who presided over the division bench hearing the case, was in favour of overturning the exemption that classified forcible intercourse with a wife as marital rape. Meanwhile, Justice C Hari Shankar stated that the IPC exception is not unconstitutional because it is founded on a rational difference. 

Marital rape not an offense under section 375

The petitioners argued that Section 375 (rape) of the IPC's marital rape exception is unconstitutional because it discriminates against married women who are sexually harassed by their husbands. If the wife is not a minor, a man having intercourse with his wife or performing a sexual act is not considered rape under section 375 of the IPC.

Both the judges held different views

While delivering the judgement, Justice Shakdher stated, "As far as I am concerned, I am concerned with exemption 2 of Section 375 and Section 376 (E)... and 21 of the Constitution, and so it has been abolished." He stated that it will be effective from the date of announcement. 

However, Justice Shankar stated, "I disagree with my learned brother, and said that these provisions do not contravene Articles 14, 19 (1) (a), and 21 of the Constitution." He said courts cannot substitute their subjective value judgement for that of a democratically elected legislature, and the exception is based on a rational distinction.

Judgment pronounced without the reply of the Center

In February of this year, the Center sought the court to grant it more time after the consultation process to convey its position on the subject. The court had previously stated that the case could not be left hanging in this manner. As a result, the government's plea was denied by the bench, which stated that the matter could not be adjourned indefinitely for such a lengthy time.

Center had opposed admitting offense in its affidavit

In reality, the Center had disputed the petitioners' arguments in a 2017 affidavit, arguing that marital rape cannot be considered a criminal offence because it might destabilise the institution of marriage and cause spouses to die. It's a simple tool for harassing people.

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