Law Insider India

Legal News, Current Trends and Legal Insight | Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Delhi High Court: A sex worker can say no at any stage but wife can’t?

2 min read

Nishka Srinivas Veluvali

Published On: January 14, 2022 at 18:18 IST

The Delhi High Court on Thursday questioned on how can a wife be declined of the right to say no with respect to husband when the sex worker has the right to do the same to her client.

The High Court placed this question when the Amicus Curiae Rajshekhar Rao said that “Each and every woman including the sex worker has the right to Accuse any man for rape but a married woman does not have the same right against her husband”.

The Delhi High Court were hearing the Petitions filed opposing the exemption granted to Section 375 of Indian Penal Code.

The exemption under Section 375 states that sexual intercourse by a man with his wife is not rape, only if the wife is above 15 years old of age.

The Amicus Curiae in the hearing also stated that the criminalisation of marital rape would emerge in Cases against their husbands is still unknown. He also told the Court that the act of marital rape violates Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which grants the protection of life and personal liberty.

“Apart from being founded on an absolutely outdated and obsolete notion of the concept of marriage and the status of a wife within it, such a presumption of consent is inconsistent with applicable law”, the Amicus Curiae inferred.

Advocate Nandita Rao appearing for the Delhi Government in the previous hearing on Tuesday stated that non-criminalisation of marital rape does not force a woman to have sexual intercourse with her husband.

She added that she can file divorce against her husband or there are Criminal provisions like Section 377 (unnatural sexual intercourse), Section 498A (cruelty by husband or relatives of husband), Section 326 (causing grievous hurt by using dangerous weapons) under which she can file a case against her husband.