The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to file a reply to the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Exception 2 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, relating to the marital rape issue.
Exception 2 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, which defines rape, states that sexual intercourse by a man with his wife is not rape unless the wife is below 15 years of age.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud asked Centre to file reply on the various petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the exception to marital rape issue.
Meanwhile, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that the issues pertaining to marital rape exception would have social ramifications and few months ago they had asked states to share their inputs in the matter. SG Mehta said apart from legal the issue has social ramifications too.
The court listed the matter in March for further hearing.
Meanwhile, the court said that Pooja Dhar and Jaikriti Jadeja, who were appointed as nodal counsel, shall prepare a common compilation of indexes and presents on which reliance shall be placed and asked all counsels to collaborate with the two nodal counsel.
The court is dealing with various pleas relating to marital rape issues. One petition is against the Karnataka HC judgement, which declined to quash the charge of rape against a man accused of raping and keeping his wife as a sex slave.
Another petition has sought the striking down of Exception 2 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, which immunes husband of criminal charges for non-consent sex with wife in a marital relationship. The petition was filed by one activist Ruth Manorama through advocate on record Ruchira Goel.
Earlier All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) among others has moved the Supreme Court against Delhi High Court's split verdict on issue relating to criminalising marital rape matter.
Two- judges Bench of Delhi HC on May 12 2022 pronounced split verdict on issue relating to criminalising marital rape. Delhi HC's Judge Justice Rajiv Shakdher rules in favour of criminalising while Justice Hari Shankar disagreed with the opinion and held that Exception 2 to Section 375 does not violate the Constitution as it is based on intelligible differences.
AIDWA was represented by advocate Karuna Nundy and the plea was filed through advocate Rahul Narayan.
AIDWA, in its plea had said that the exception allowed to marital rape is destructive and in opposition to the object of rape laws, which clearly ban sexual activity sans consent. It places the privacy of a marriage at a pedestal above the rights of the woman in the marriage, the plea said.
The petition said that Marital Rape Exception is in violation of Articles 14, 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution.
(With inputs from ANI)