Split Verdict on Criminalizing Marital Rape; Petitioners can Move SC

Story Highlights
  • Delhi HC issues split verdict on marital rape.
  • Petitioners permitted to move SC.
  • Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice C Hari Shanker heard the plea.

New Delhi: The Delhi HC today delivered a split verdict on the issue of criminalising marital rape. During the hearing, Justice Rajiv Shakdher said that marital rape is violative of the Constitution, but Justice C Hari Shanker upholds the validity of Section 376 B and 198 B. The bench of two judges failed to agree on their verdicts on the petitions seeking to make marital rape a crime.

Justice Shakdher struck down Exception 2 of Section 375 Indian Penal Code (IPC), which decriminalises marital rape.

In view of the split verdict, the High Court has permitted the parties involved in the case to approach the Supreme Court over the issue. The bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar had reserved its judgement on 21 February 2022. A discourse between the centre and court has been in action since February 7 2022.

The high court was pronouncing the judgement on a batch of pleas challenging the exception of Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which exempts the husband from the offence of rape for forceful sexual intercourse with the wife, as unconstitutional. A petition was filed in 2015 challenging the exception.

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