Rape should be considered gender-neutral, observes Kerala HC

Kochi: A bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday orally remarked that the offense of rape should be made gender-neutral while considering a matrimonial dispute moved by a divorced couple over custody of their child.

This observation was made by Justice Muhamed Mustaque.

“Section 376 is not a gender-neutral provision. If a woman tricks a man under false promise of marriage, she can’t be prosecuted. But a man can be prosecuted for the same offence. What kind of law is this? It should be gender-neutral,” said Mustaque.

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The judge made the remark during the course of the hearing when the party brought up the fact that the husband in the case had once been accused in a rape case.

The husband’s counsel argued that he was currently released on bail and that the said allegation was based on unsubstantiated accusations of sex under a false promise of marriage.

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