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Delhi HC ask Centre's opinion in criminalization of marital rape

Delhi HC ask Centres opinion in criminalization of marital rape

Following a submission by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that criminalising marital rape is a sensitive issue, the Delhi High Court on Monday sought the Centre's opinion.

Earlier this week, he testified before a bench led by Justice Rajiv Shakdher handling the appeals that recently created a stir across the sociopolitical spectrum.

Two weeks will be given to the Centre to clarify its position on the issue, which the government says is neither for nor against striking down the immunity granted to husbands under the Indian Penal Code.

After a flurry of petitions seeking criminalisation of marital rape, the Centre has recently filed a new affidavit in the high court, stating that it is examining the issue of broad changes in criminal law and that the petitioners can also submit suggestions.

The Centre, following a flurry of petitions seeking criminalization of marital rape, has filed a new affidavit in the high court, informing the court that it is considering generally changing the criminal laws and that the petitioners can also provide suggestions.

"Does it create a compulsion on a woman to have sex with her husband just because this is not a criminal offence under Section 375?" Advocate Nandita Rao answered.

In addition to the divorce option, Rao noted that the wife has the right to file a criminal complaint under Section 498A of IPC. At present, divorce cases are filed under Sections 377, 498A, and 326 of IPC, Rao said.

A PIL challenging the constitutional validity of marital rape led the Gujarat High Court to issue notices to the state and to the Centre.

Forcing physical relations between a husband and his legally wedded wife without her consent is not a crime under Section 375(2) of the IPC.

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TAGS:Delhi HCmarital rapecriminalization
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