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Kerala HC Remarks Offence of Rape Should be Gender-Neutral

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Paridhi Arya

Published on June 2, 2022 at 15:22 IST

Justice A Muhamed Mustaque of Kerala High Court while hearing the case over custody of a child brought by a divorced couple made an oral remark that offence of rape should be made gender-neutral.

This remark was made by Justice when the Counsel of wife revealed the fact that husband is accused of rape on which Counsel of husband defended that he is released on Bail and accusation against him are baseless in the unsubstantiated accusations of sex under false promise of marriage.

On this argument the Court showed its concern that Section 376 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) is not gender neutral.

“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 by Judge.

This is not the first time when Justice Mustaque was vocal about the Gender Discrimination in the Offence of Rape, earlier this year also while delivering the Judgment of another case he pointed out that under IPC Offence of rape is not gender-neutral.

“It is to be remembered that the statutory provisions of the offence of rape as understood in the Indian Penal Code, is not gender-neutral. A woman, on a false promise of marrying and having a sexual relationship with a man, with the consent of the latter obtained on such false promise, cannot be punished for rape.”

“However, a man on a false promise of marrying a woman and having sexual relationship with the woman would lead to the prosecution’s case of rape,” said by Judge while delivering earlier Judgment.