The Delhi High Court is likely to pronounce its judgement on petitions seeking the criminalisation of marital rape on Wednesday. The court had reserved its verdict on February 21. A bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice C Hari Shankar will pronounce the judgement at 2:15 pm tomorrow.
The Centre had requested more time to file a fresh response but the court rejected it. The government had told the court that its written stand of 2017 should not be treated as final, as it wants to first hold consultations with stakeholders on the subject. Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta had told the court that the Central government was awaiting the response of other State governments and stakeholders seeking their opinions on the issue and therefore the matter should be deferred till such time the inputs are received.
NGOs like RIT Foundation, All India Democratic Women’s Association and two individuals had petitioned against marital rape. The petitioners are seeking striking down the exception granted to husbands under the Indian rape law. 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. The petitioners had argued that marital rape was the biggest form of sexual violence against women. The court had appointed Senior Advocates Rebecca John and Rajshekhar Rao as amicus curiae in the matter.