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Marital rape: SC to hear plea to criminalise it

Marital rape: SC to hear plea to criminalise it

New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear a plea filed by an NGO seeking to make marital rape a criminal offence.

The matter was earlier adjourned to September 4.

Earlier, the hearing was to be carried out by the Delhi High Court, but they put it on hold after learning that the SC has taken up for hearing of a petition on similar matter.

The HC then asked the parties before it to find out if the issues raised before it in the petitions seeking to make marital rape an offence are similar to those being heard by the apex court.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar observed it would be “highly improper” for it to continue hearing this matter if SC was examining the issue of marital rape as a whole.

The NGO, who had filed the plea is opposing this as they argue that while SC is hearing a plea questioning the validity of a provision under the IPC permitting a man to have physical relationship with his wife, even if she was aged between 15 and 18 years. the issue before HC is different as the PILs challenge the constitutionality of Section 375 (rape) of the IPC on the ground that it discriminates against married women being sexually assaulted by their husbands.

Earlier, Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves appearing for the petitioner NGO RIT foundation, during his arguments read out judgments of United States Court, European Union Court and Nepal Supreme Court, which have criminalized marital rape. (ANI)